Posted by: Mish | September 19, 2009

Avast ye mateys!

Today be the day when jack tars and lubbers around the world be talkin’ and actin’ like pirates. What be I talkin’ about? Why none other than International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

In brief, Ol’ Chum Bucket and Cap’n Slappy, aka John Baur and Mark Summers, be talkin’ like pirates and comin’ up with the idea in the nineties. A few years later, they be writin’ columnist Dave Barry who then be writin’ and promotin’ the day to the masses. Thanks to them, themed entertainment, parties, and events happens across the seven seas.

Of course this be the one weekend when the ship be at port and I be stuck on land. Arrgh! But I be celebratin’ anyway with me grog and music.

Ol’ Chum Bucket and Cap’n Slappy join in on Tom Smith’s infamous “Talk Like A Pirate Day”:

Talk like a pirate:

Language rules, aye, pirates use ’em too:

  • Drop ending “g”‘s- Sailin’, Fightin’
  • Drop “v”‘s- Ne’er, E’er, O’er
  • “Me” ne’er “my”
  • “I be” or “You be”, ne’er “I am” or “You are”
  • Scrap past and future tenses. Aye, present tense only.


Addled: Mad, insane, stupid
Addlepate: A fool
Ahoy!: Hello! Hey!
Arrgh!: Sound of annoyance or pain
Arrr!: Yes, I be agreein’
Avast!: Stop! Pay attention!
Aye: Yes
Belay: Stop that
Bilge!: Nonsense; Lowest level of a ship
Bilge rat- One livin’ in the lowest, slimiest level of the ship
Black spot: Placin’ the black spot’ be markin’ someone for death
Blaggard: “Blackguard”, an insult
Blimey!: Exclamation of surprise
Booty: Treasure
Bosun: Petty officer, boatswain
Buccanneer: A pirate who be answerin’ to no man government
Bucko: “Me bucko”- me friend
Chantey: A sailor’s work song, also spelled “shantey” and “shanty”
Corsair: A more romantic
Davy Jones’ Locker: The bottom o’ the sea, where the souls of dead men lie
Deadlights: Eyes
Doubloons: Pieces of gold, originally those from Spain
Fair winds!: Goodbye, good luck!
Fiddlers Green: The private heaven where pirates be goin’ when they die.
Gangway!: Outta me way!
Go on the account: To embark on a piratical cruise
Grog: Usually rum with water, but also used for beer and alcohol in general
Handsomely: Quickly, hurry
Head: Modern ship’s toilet, “I be usin’ the head”
Hornpipe: A single-reeded musical instrument, a spirited dance
Jack: A flag or a sailor
Jack Tar, tar: A sailor
Jollyboat: A small craft, like a dinghy
Jolly Roger: Flag with skull and crossbones
Keelhaul: When a scurvy dog be tied to a rope and dragged along the bottom of a ship
Lad, lass, lassie: An address for someone younger
Landlubber, lubber: Land-lover, a non-sailor
Lights: Lungs, “I be havin’ yer lights and liver!”
Lass: A woman
Lily-livered: Faint o’ heart
Loaded to the Gunwales (pron. gunnels): drunk
Matey: A shipmate or friend, not always a friendly address
Me hearty: A friend or shipmate
Poxy, poxed: Diseased, an insult
Privateer: a pirate officially sanctioned by a national power
Sail ho!: “I be seein’ a ship!”
Salt, old salt: An experienced sailor
Scallywag: A scoundrel
Scurvy dog!: An insult
Sea dog: An experienced sailor
Shark bait: A worthless, lazy sailor
Shiver me timbers!: An exclamation of surprise
Sink me!: An expression of surprise
Smartly: Quickly, hurry
Splice the mainbrace: To have a drink or several
Sprogs: New recruits
Squiffy: A buffoon
Swab: A disrespectful term for a sailor; To clean
Swag: Treasure
Swaggy: A scurvy cur’s ship what ye be intendin’ to loot
Thar: The opposite of “here.”
Walk the plank: What ye be doin’ if ye don’t get it
Wench: a woman
Wi’ a wannion: Wi’ a curse, or wi’ a vengeance

SJ Tucker, “Wendy Trilogy I- Wendy on Board”:



  1. ‘Appy Pirate Day! Arrrr

    I went through a phase when I enjoyed using Pirate speak on Facebook, and noticed Library Thing was all Arrrrrrrry yesterday! Lovin’ it.

  2. Yo ho ho, bloody fantastic!

  3. Fantastic post, Mish. I’m gutted that I didn’t spot this on Saturday, when I was attempting to ‘talk like a pirate.’ My imagination and inventiveness were not really up to the job, and it all ended in tears. Quite literally!

    And telling the kids that we were eating seagull did not help.

  4. Awww, bummer.


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