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Old 08-13-2008, 11:11 AM
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Pieces Parts. What does it mean?

I've been hearing this phrase more and more lately and it's really driving me insane. What does it mean?

"I'll put together a list of pieces parts."
"Here you'll see the various pieces parts."
"We're waiting on pieces parts."

Ahhh! It sounds so stupid to my ears. If you mean parts, say parts. If you mean pieces, say pieces. If you don't know what you mean, don't say both! If you are trying to say a piece of a part, then it is still a piece - not a pieces part. A part of a piece is still a part! Auuugh! the words have lost their meaning. Pieces... peeces...pea says...peace eds...pisces... pie lesu domine ::WHACK:: dona e es requim.


OK, here's where the IMHO comes in. If you have heard this phrase, what is your opinion on it (humble or otherwise)? And is there a reason for the jamming the two words together? Am I missing something? Is there any way this isn't as stupid as it sounds to me?
Old 08-13-2008, 11:18 AM
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The first time I heard it was an old Wendy's commercial making fun of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets:

Customer: What's it made from?
McDrone: Parts.
Customer: What kind of parts?
McDrone: Pieces parts.
Customer: Pieces parts?
McDrone: Yep. And parts is parts.

I've used it (and heard it used) since then as a humorous way of saying "you don't want to know what's in it". I've never heard anyone actually use it seriously, though.
Old 08-13-2008, 11:21 AM
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Found the commercial.

I misremembered the actual exchange, but "pieces parts" is used.
Old 08-13-2008, 11:25 AM
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The Wendy's commercial was the first thing I thought of too.

A previous boss used to say "piece-parts" when he was referring to something overly complex or cobbled together. Like, "I'm tired of dealing with all these piece-parts. We need a new system." That's the only time I've heard it. I thought it was an OK way to convey the sense that this was something that was thrown together into a big fiddly mess -- we're not just dealing with the damned parts, we're dealing with pieces of parts! Yeah, stupid upon analysis, but I kind of liked it.
Old 08-13-2008, 12:24 PM
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Never heard it myself, but my blood pressure is rising already...

Joe
Old 08-13-2008, 01:44 PM
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I've never heard it either. It grates on my nerves irregardless.

Old 08-13-2008, 01:48 PM
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I've often heard "pieces parts" used as a euphemism for genitalia.
Old 08-13-2008, 01:53 PM
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I've heard it in manufacturing. I hear it as pieces/parts.

The implication I get is: "We are waiting for pieces and/or parts in order to be able to finish the job."

Doesn't bother me at all.
Old 08-13-2008, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paintcharge
I've heard it in manufacturing. I hear it as pieces/parts.

The implication I get is: "We are waiting for pieces and/or parts in order to be able to finish the job."

Doesn't bother me at all.
I buy that. And, I'm guessing that is what is trying to be conveyed here as well. But what, in the name of Lucifer's rotting crotch fungus, is wrong with just saying pieces? Or just saying parts? How does pieces/parts convey anything more?


When I hear it it sounds like the person saying it is trying to sound smarter than they are - and that's how they come off.

Luckily it sounds like this phrase isn't too widely spread.
Old 08-13-2008, 02:20 PM
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I haven't heard "pieces parts" but we use "piece parts" quite a bit. As opposed to an assembly or weldment.

"It's not a weldment, it's a piece part." Meaning a stand-alone machined part.

FWIW, I'm in mechanical engineering.
Old 08-13-2008, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayard
... referring to something overly complex or cobbled together.
I've heard, and used, this expression all my life and always assumed that "piece's" started out as a possessive, not a plural (the piece's parts). I would use it more for something that was "cobbled together" from parts of other things, or for something that had a larger than expected number of small parts, but definitely with the sense of "the parts that make up the piece".

In some cases it could be parts of many different pieces of something even bigger as in "I finished replacing the start motor in my car and now have some piece's parts left over".
Old 08-13-2008, 02:41 PM
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I heard the expression on the shop floor at my old job. It struck me as a bit odd.
Old 08-13-2008, 02:58 PM
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In electronics manufacturing the term "piece parts" (singular on the former) is used all the time to differentiate between a handful of individual unassembled electronic parts and, well, an actual electronics assembly.
Old 08-13-2008, 03:03 PM
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I've never heard this expression in my life, and I'd never use it as I generally don't use the word 'piece' but tbdi's explanation makes sense to me.
Old 08-13-2008, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolores Reborn
I haven't heard "pieces parts" but we use "piece parts" quite a bit. As opposed to an assembly or weldment.

"It's not a weldment, it's a piece part." Meaning a stand-alone machined part.

FWIW, I'm in mechanical engineering.
Interesting. I'm in Aerospace Engineering - which is just Mechanical Engineering with a few more fluids classes.

OK, so I get what you're saying. But, if you were to call it a piece or a part - it still wouldn't be mistaken for an assembly or a weldment.





Quote:
Originally Posted by tbdi
I've heard, and used, this expression all my life and always assumed that "piece's" started out as a possessive, not a plural (the piece's parts). I would use it more for something that was "cobbled together" from parts of other things, or for something that had a larger than expected number of small parts, but definitely with the sense of "the parts that make up the piece".

In some cases it could be parts of many different pieces of something even bigger as in "I finished replacing the start motor in my car and now have some piece's parts left over".

Yeah, you could say that. Or you could say:

"I finished replacing the starter motor in my car and now have some parts left over"

or

"I finished replacing the starter motor in my car and now have some pieces left over"

And your point would be conveyed just as well.

Last edited by brewha; 08-13-2008 at 03:37 PM.
Old 08-13-2008, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
OK, so I get what you're saying. But, if you were to call it a piece or a part - it still wouldn't be mistaken for an assembly or a weldment.
I guess it would come up when you're just talking about a part number, as a way of describing what it is.

Usually, I just call it a "part." It seems it's part of the vernacular - maybe a Southern thing?
Old 08-13-2008, 04:59 PM
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It sounds retarded.

I suggest you end every conversation with the boss with thank you you or maybe wubble wubble. When he says "What?" you can say it makes as much sense as pieces parts.
Old 08-13-2008, 05:08 PM
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We all use colloquial terms that sound "retarded."

But from the get-go, we realize that sooner, rather than later, when the rubber hits the road, at the end of the day, these are just sayings. In terms of words I mean.
Old 08-13-2008, 05:40 PM
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"Piece Parts" has been a standard manufacturing term as long as I can remember. I've never heard the term "pieces parts."

But if I did, I'd distinguish the two by pieces being standalone things and parts being items that when assembled together become some sort of useful object.
Old 08-13-2008, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan
We all use colloquial terms that sound "retarded."

But from the get-go, we realize that sooner, rather than later, when the rubber hits the road, at the end of the day, these are just sayings. In terms of words I mean.

No, we all don't. I almost punched out my computer screen after reading your sentence *

Don't even get me started on "It is what it is". I'd wager that there does not exist a more widely used yet completely fucking worthless statememt.






























*Don't worry, I got your intent. That's just the kind of crap that just grates on my brain.
Old 08-13-2008, 05:46 PM
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I encounter this reasonably often at work (technical documentation), usually in the context of what needs to be done for a project. "It's mostly ready, but there are still a few pieces parts to finish up."

It's basically the difference between 'pieces' and 'little (insignificant) pieces'.
Old 08-13-2008, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
Yeah, you could say that. Or you could say:

"I finished replacing the starter motor in my car and now have some parts left over"

or

"I finished replacing the starter motor in my car and now have some pieces left over"

And your point would be conveyed just as well.
The main point would be, yes. The phrase "piece's parts" extends the image by including the idea that they're a bunch of little bits of things that you aren't quite sure what they are but you know they belong in there on something. It's a more colorful way of expressing the main idea with a bit of self-deprecating humor at the situation.

I'd certainly never use the phrase in formal speech or writing but it's useful in casual speech.
Old 08-13-2008, 06:00 PM
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I should have been more specific. This phrase is being used in a formal manner - during meetings and I've overheard it used over the phone to customers.

awldune that's the exact type of thing I hear at work. And I don't understand why a simple:
"It's mostly ready, but there are still a few parts to finish up."

Wouldn't work as well without the danger of pissing me off. (not that there's any real danger - I've got no authority here).



I know it's being used. And, I'm under the impression that it's a phrase that was simply overheard and now we've got idiots running around using the phrase without a clue of why they are using it. I don't have a clue why it would be used, but at least I'm not using it anyway.
Old 08-13-2008, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
I should have been more specific. This phrase is being used in a formal manner - during meetings and I've overheard it used over the phone to customers.

awldune that's the exact type of thing I hear at work. And I don't understand why a simple:
"It's mostly ready, but there are still a few parts to finish up."

Wouldn't work as well without the danger of pissing me off. (not that there's any real danger - I've got no authority here).



I know it's being used. And, I'm under the impression that it's a phrase that was simply overheard and now we've got idiots running around using the phrase without a clue of why they are using it. I don't have a clue why it would be used, but at least I'm not using it anyway.
You you have a work buddy who you can ask? Since it's happening at work, it might be something worth knowing about.
Old 08-13-2008, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
No, we all don't. I almost punched out my computer screen after reading your sentence *

Don't even get me started on "It is what it is". I'd wager that there does not exist a more widely used yet completely fucking worthless statememt.

<Superfluous spaces snipped>

*Don't worry, I got your intent. That's just the kind of crap that just grates on my brain.
Hey, me too. I feel you pain brother. (Or sister?)
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