From Part and Parcel to Parcel Post

Funky Phrases

SEELEY LAKE - Though writing teachers disapprove of using two words when one conveys the meaning satisfactorily, the English language is full of doublet phrases: safe and sound; each and every; null and void; bits and pieces; rack and ruin; part and parcel. Each word of the phrase means the same thing.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), “part,” meaning a piece of a whole, came into use in the 11th century. “Parcel,” meaning a piece of a whole, came into usage in the 14th century. The two were then yoked together, most often in legal treatises, presumably to cover all eventualiti...


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