To simplify communication, most languages contain phrases that boil complex or cumbersome ideas down into simple, readily available statements. These phrases are called expressions.
However, even some expressions can be confusing, especially when they are reminiscent of other expressions. The phrases peace of mind and piece of my mind contain two homophones, piece and peace, which makes them easy to use incorrectly. Some writers even use a third, in-between phrase, piece of mind.
Even though they sound similar, these expressions are not usually applicable in the same contexts. For an explanation of when to choose piece of my mind or peace of mind, continue reading this article.
What is the Difference Between Piece of Mind and Peace of Mind?
In this article, I will compare peace of mind vs piece of my mind. I will use each of these phrases in context in a sentence. Plus, I will explain a mnemonic that will help you decide whether peace of mind or piece of my mind is the expression you should use.
When to Use Piece of Mind
What does piece of mind mean? Piece of mind is an incorrect combination of both phrases peace of mind and piece of my mind.
Sometimes, writers will use piece of mind when they really mean either peace of mind, or piece of my mind.
Piece of mind is not an acceptable substitute for either expression and should always be avoided.
When to Use Peace of Mind
What does peace of mind mean? Peace of mind is an expression that means calm, inner tranquility, characterized by the absence of uncertainty or turmoil.
Here are some ways this phrase might be used,
- Now that her team was up by several runs, the pitcher could go to the mound with peace of mind.
- I cannot get any peace of mind with these noisy children always underfoot.
- It is the latest illustration of the rising cost of peace of mind for skittish investors. –The Wall Street Journal
Sometimes people travel away from the noise of the city to appreciate nature and get some peace of mind. Others get peace of mind after a long day at work to simply watch TV and relax.
The takeaway point is that peace of mind is about inner tranquility. When you have peace of mind, you are not anxious or weary.
When to Use Piece of My Mind
What does piece of my mind mean? Piece of my mind is another English expression. This phrase means a frank summary of one’s thoughts on the matter at hand, usually delivered in a stern tone or out of frustration.
Here are some examples of piece of my mind in a sentence,
- “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t march down and give him a piece of my mind,” Henrietta demanded.
- “Boy, I’d like to give that whelp a piece of my mind,” John said about his neighbor’s young son.
This phrase is metaphorical, not literal. It does not mean to give away a physical section of one’s brain, or to transfer a portion of one’s consciousness to another being. It refers simply to making one’s thoughts known.
Trick to Remember the Difference
Here is a helpful trick to remember peace of mind vs. piece of mind.
To begin, you should never use piece of mind. It is a butchery of the other two expressions, and has no use in contemporary English.
Peace of mind and piece of my mind are similar expressions, but there is an easy clue that reveals when you should use each. Since one sense of the word peace is calmness, and peace of mind also has to do with calmness, you can use the individual words in this phrase to remember its meaning.
Is it piece of mind or peace of mind? Piece of my mind and peace of mind are both English expressions.
- Peace of mind refers to a calmness and tranquility.
- Piece of my mind refers to a frank summary of one’s thoughts.
Piece of mind is not an accepted alternative for either phrase.
The individual words in each phrase signal its meaning. Peace is a synonym of calmness, which is also the meaning of the phrase peace of mind. By using this trick, you should always know when to use each of these phrases.