Friday, September 19, 2008

Talk Like a Pirate Day...Arrr

Truth be told, I prefer made up holidays to real ones. You don't have to buy gifts, you don't have to deal with wacky relatives. You just have to act silly. And I'm really good at that! Today is my all-time favorite made-up holiday:
Talk Like a Pirate Day.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Portland, Oregon (where else?), who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, me hearty!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy - long before hoodlum gangs in the inner cities started painting bad art on the sides of buildings or before the advent of copying DVDs for fun and profit (shiver me timbers!). Find out more at:

How to be Speakin' Pirate-like, arrrr!

  • Double up on all your adjectives and you'll be bountifully bombastic with your phrasing. Pirates never speak of "a big ship", they call it a "great, grand ship!" They never say never, they say "No nay ne'er!"
  • Drop all your "g"'s when you speak and you'll get words like "rowin'", "sailin'" and "fightin'". Dropping all of your "v"'s will get you words like "ne'er", "e'er" and "o'er".
  • Instead of saying "I am", sailors say, "I be". Instead of saying "You are", sailors say, "You be". Instead of saying, "They are", sailors say, "They be". Ne'er speak in anythin' but the present tense!
If it be helpin', start yer sentence wi' a "Arr, me hearty," in a deep, throaty voice — ye'll find that the rest be comin' much easier.
  • Ahoy: Hey!
  • Avast: Stop!
  • Aye: Yes
  • Black spot: to be 'placin' the black spot' be markin' someone for death.
  • Booty: treasure
  • Buccanneer: a pirate who be answerin' to no man or blasted government.
  • By the Powers!: an exclamation, uttered by Long John Silver in Treasure Island!
  • Cat o' nine tails: whip for floggin' mutineers
  • Corsair: a pirate who be makin' his berth in the Med-...Medi-...that sea 'tween Spain and Africa, aye!
  • Davy Jones' Locker: the bottom o' the sea, where the souls of dead men lie
  • Doubloons: pieces of gold...
  • Fiddlers Green: the private heaven where pirates be goin' when they die.
  • Furner: a ship which be yer own, not one ye steal an' plunder.
  • Gentlemen o' fortune: a slightly more positive term fer pirates!
  • Go on the account: to embark on a piratical cruise
  • Grog: A pirate's favorite drink.
  • Jack: a flag or a sailor
  • Jolly Roger: the skull and crossbones, the pirate flag!
  • Keelhaul: a truly vicious punishment where a scurvy dog be tied to a rope and dragged along the barnacle-encrusted bottom of a ship. They not be survivin' this.
  • Landlubber: "Land-lover," someone not used to life onboard a ship.
  • Lass: A woman.
  • Lily-livered: faint o' heart
  • Loaded to the Gunwales (pron. gunnels): drunk
  • Matey: A shipmate or a friend.
  • Me hearty: a friend or shipmate.
  • Me: My.
  • Pieces o' eight: pieces o' silver which can be cut into eights to be givin' small change.
  • Privateer: a pirate officially sanctioned by a national power
  • Scallywag: A bad person. A scoundrel.
  • Scurvy dog!: a fine insult!
  • Shiver me timbers!: an exclamation of surprise, to be shouted most loud.
  • Son of a Biscuit Eater: a derogatory term indicating a bastard son of a sailor
  • Sprogs: raw, untrained recruits
  • Squadron: a group of ten or less warships
  • Squiffy: a buffoon
  • Swaggy: a scurvy cur's ship what ye be intendin' to loot!
  • Swashbucklin': fightin' and carousin' on the high seas!
  • Sweet trade: the career of piracy
  • Thar: The opposite of "here."
  • Walk the plank: this one be bloody obvious.
  • Wench: a lady, although ye gents not be wantin' to use this around a lady who be stronger than ye.
  • Wi' a wannion: wi' a curse, or wi' a vengeance. Boldly, loudly!
  • Yo-ho-ho: Pirate laughter
An'way I be hepful fer ye!
Capt. Walter Pegleg

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