Celebrate International Talk Lile a Pirate Day on September 19 every year.
Ahoy, Maties! One of our favorite celebration days provides the perfect excuse to say, “Arrrrr,” and reply to your boss with an, “Aye, Aye Captain!”
How was International Talk Like a Pirate Day Started?
The founders are John Baur and Mark Summers, better known as Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy. One day, they were randomly insulting each other while playing racquetball. For some reason, the insults began to take a salty pirate’s turn. One would say you’re a bilge sucker, while the other would retort, yeah, well you’re lily-livered.
The yo-ho-ho jargon spilled over to their hearties (friends), and soon John and Mark and their crew were all talking like pirates. A Parley (conference) was convened, and everyone agreed that talking like a pirate should be celebrated. Shiver me, Timbers, the boys decided on September 19 as the yearly date to be swashbucklers and share scuttlebutt.
But these were two regular guys; how could they get the word out that there was now an International Day to Talk Like a Pirate?
They would try to hornswoggle Nationally Syndicated Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist Dave Barry to write a column about the day. Well, you can blow the man down and crush me barnacles because Mr. Barry wrote the column. The rest is history.
For International Talk Like a Pirate Day, you’re going to want to beef up your vocabulary so you can really sound like a man or woman of the sea. Here is a collection of colorful pirate terms that just may come in handy at your local watering hole.
Ahoy – A substitute for hi, hello, or hey. Use in a sentence: Ahoy Crew, where’s my drink.
Arrrr or Argh – Used to emphasize a point. Use in a sentence: Argh, these drinks are pretty weak.
Avast – A pirate term for pay attention or listen up. Use in a sentence: Avast maties, there’s only 15 minutes left in Happy Hour!
Aye, aye! – An affirmation, like yes, yes. Use in a sentence: Aye, aye, Captain, we’ll order some appetizers.
Aft – The back or stern part of the boat. Use in a sentence: Let’s head to the aft of the bar.
Batten Down the Hatches – A command to prepare for trouble. Use in a sentence: Batten Down the Hatches mates, trouble just walked in the door.
Bilge Water – Water accumulated in the bottom of a boat and becomes brackish or bad tasting. Use in a sentence: This beer tastes like bilge water.
BlackJack – A pirate flag or a large tankard. Use in a sentence: Hey Bob, can you fetch me a blackjack of ale?
Blimey – An expression of surprise. Use in a sentence: Blimey, these chicken wings are delicious.
Blow the Man Down – To knock someone to the floor. Use in a sentence: Her look was so good it could blow the man down.
Talk Like A Pirate Examples
Booty – A treasure. Use in a sentence: Blimey, there’s more gold in that booty than most will see in a lifetime!
Bounty – A reward for a good deed or mission accomplished. Use in a sentence: I’d give a bounty to whoever gets me a beer.
Briney Deep – The Ocean. Use in a sentence: I heard Clem fell off the boat into the Briney Deep.
Buccaneer – Another name for a pirate. Use in a sentence: Yeah, Simpson, he’s a real buccaneer.
Cackle Fruit – Hen’s Eggs. Use in a sentence: Aye, let’s get an order of cackle fruit.
Chase Gun – A cannon at the front or bow of the ship. Use in a sentence: We should fire the chase gun across her bow and see what she does.
A Clap of Thunder – A strong alcoholic drink. Use in a sentence: Blimey, that Long Island Iced Tea was a clap of thunder.
Cleave Him to the Brisket – To cut someone savagely across the chest. Use in a sentence: He treated that girl so badly, I wanted to cleave him to the brisket.
Coffer – A chest full of treasure. Use in a sentence: A coffer for another beer!
Crow’s Nest – A lookout stand often built at the top of a ship’s center mast.
Sentence – Jenkins gets up to the crow’s nest and sees who’s headed in the bar.
Cutlass – A type of sword often used by pirates with a wide blade and menacing look. Use in a sentence: A fine cutlass would look good with my outfit.
Davy Jones Locker – A reference to where bodies go when buried at sea. Use in a sentence: Poor Harold, he’s in Davy Jones Locker now.
Good Pirate Expressions
Dead Men Tell No Tales – A reference to keeping quiet and not being a snitch. Use in a sentence: Remember Bill, dead men tell no tales.
Doubloons – Spanish coins. Use in a sentence: Let’s pay the bill with some doubloons and get out of this place.
Duffle – A bag that sailors would use to hold all their belongings. Use in a sentence: Mark, what did you bring in that duffle?
Dungbie – The rear end of a ship. Use in a sentence: Fetch the rope at the dungbie.
Freebooter – Another name for a pirate. Use in a sentence: Yeah, Simpson, she’s a real freebooter.
Give no Quarter – show no mercy. Use in a sentence: Tell the waitress this bill is incorrect and give no quarter.
Heave – To bring to a stop or halt. Use in a sentence: Okay, crew, heave-ho, let’s go.
Hearties – Friends. Use in a sentence: Listen up me hearties, happy hour is almost over.
Hornswoggle – To try to trick someone. Use in a sentence: Listen, Mike, don’t try to hornswoggle me.
I’ll Crush ye Barnacles – A threat to harm. Use in a sentence: Listen, Tim, do that again, and I’ll crush ye barnacles.
Descriptive Talk Like a Pirate Expressions
Jolly Roger – The famous pirate flag with a skull and crossbones. Use in a sentence: Let’s fly the Jolly Roger; the happy hour has begun.
Landlubber – Someone who is uncomfortable and unskilled on the water. Use in a sentence: Don’t mind her; she’s a landlubber.
Lily-livered – An insult to someone that displays cowardice. Use in a sentence: Sam, face it, you’re just lily-livered.
Matey – A friend of a pirate. Use in a sentence: Aye matey, you’re a good girl.
Old-Salt – An experienced sailor. Use in a sentence: Miller? Yes, he’s an old salt.
Parley -A conference between opposing sides to agree. Use in a sentence: A parley was set up to determine our next destination after happy hour.
Pieces of eight. – See Doubloons. Use in a sentence: See Doubloons.
Privateer – A Government-sponsored pirate. Use in a sentence: Yeah, Wyatt, he’s a real privateer.
Scallywag – An inexperienced and/or mischievous pirate. Use in a sentence: Slim is a real scallywag.
Scurvy Dog – An insult for a not-nice person. Use in a sentence: Slim is a scurvy dog.
Scuttlebutt – A cask of drinking water, but also a term for gossip. Use in a sentence: So Sally says that’s the scuttlebutt around the water cooler.
Seadog – An old sailor or pirate. Use in a sentence: That guy over there is a real seadog.
Shiver me Timbers – An expression of surprise. Use in a sentence: Shiver me, Timber Wilson, that’s great news!
Swashbuckler – A Daredevil sailor. Use in a sentence: He’s a real swashbuckler.
Three Sheets to the Wind – Someone who is very drunk. Use in a sentence: I’m afraid Bill is three sheets to the wind: he’s been talking to that barstool for five minutes.
Weigh Anchor – To get ready and leave a place. Use in a sentence: Alright, crew, let’s weigh anchor and get out of here; happy hour is over.
Classic Pirate Quotes
Give me freedom or give me the rope. For I shall not take the shackles that subjugate the poor to uphold the rich. John Goldenwolf (American Pirate)
Now and then, we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
An enemy will always be the same, but a friend can betray you.
Where there is a sea, there are pirates.
Under a black flag, we sail, and the sea shall be our empire.
Waves crack with wicked fury against me ship’s hull while ocean currents rage as the full moon rises o’re the sea.
Captain John Phillips
Religion is the opium of the people. Well, I don’t know about people, but I think you’ll find the opium of pirates is opium.
Take what you can and give nothing back.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Every generation welcomes the pirates from the past.
There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea; I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates.
James Russell Lowell
But the pirates never showed, and the slaves found themselves trapped on a narrow peninsula. (Lesson: never trust pirates.)
Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese – toasted mostly.
Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
When the king brands us, pirates, he doesn’t mean to make us adversaries. He doesn’t mean to make us criminals. He means to make us monsters.
Funny Pirate Jokes
What happened to the pirate who played too many video games?
He got hooked.
Why did the pirate wear an eye patch?
He forgot he had a hook.
How do you make a pirate very angry?
Take away the “p.”
What’s the best way to talk to a pirate?
With aye-to-aye contact
What summer drink did the pirate order?
Gin and bilge water.
Where do pirates buy their hooks?
The secondhand store.
Riddles and Puns
What did the peg-leg pirate that was caught in a snowstorm say?
Shiver me timbers!
Apple is coming out with a new product just for pirates; it’s called the iPatch.
What is a pirate’s favorite haircut?
A crew cut.
The pirate captain kept running his ship aground.
It turns out he had two eye patches.
How do pirates buy their rum?
By the barrel.
What song was the pirate captain always humming?
Don’t it make my blue beard blue?
Pirate Captions for Instagram
Keep calm and walk the plank.
What do you mean the rums gone!
Piracy isn’t a crime; it’s a way of life.
May your powder be dry and your rum full.
Yo ho, yo ho a pirate’s life for me.
I drink; therefore, I am a pirate.
Pirates are crazy; we just are.
Stop blowing holes in my ship.
Party like a pirate!
You can always trust a pirate.
65 and an earring, must be a pirate.
Always play like a pirate.
Never count your booty when you’re sitting at the table.
Everybody wants to be a pirate. Be one.
Rum can fix anything.
A black flag signals happy hour!
Are you a pirate? Really?
Never grow up; always be a pirate.
Sea legs? You call those sea legs!
Pirates are spicy!
Are you a pirate or just a bad boy?
Let’s sail away!
We are all pirates!
Famous Pirate Fun Facts
- There are writing to suggest that pirates roamed the seas as far back as 1325.
- Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Teach, now that name isn’t going to strike fear in anyone. Contrary to popular belief, he was not terribly violent. He used cunning and cultivated a frightening appearance and persona that made his enemies afraid.
- There were a number of female pirates, the most famous is Grace O’Malley and Anne Bonny of Ireland, France’s Jeanne de Clisson, and England’s Mary Read. Even America had a famous female pirate named Rachel Wall. She was caught and charged with several crimes. She was hanged in 1789 at the age of 29. Notably, she was the last woman to be hanged in Massachusetts.
- Most pirates sounded nothing like the pirates in the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The accent was developed by the actor Robert Newton in the movie Treasure Island. Newton played Long John Silver. Johnny Depp took the accent to outrageous lengths as Captain Jack Sparrow. Some say his voice is based on Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
- Many pirates wore eye patches, but they were not missing an eye. The difference between the sunny upper deck and the below decks was jarring. So, pirates would wear a patch over one eye, so that eye was always accustomed to the dark.
- Cruise fanatics know that seasickness can be relieved by applying pressure to an ear lobe. Pirates would accomplish this by wearing earrings. The pressure on their lobes helped ease seasickness.
By Tim Moodie
Tim is a salty seadog who was once stuck on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride for three hours. Seriously, he’s a freelance writer who does not have a wooden leg.
You are on our International Talk Like A Pirate Day page.
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