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Ahoy, maties! Avast, ye! Stop what you are doing. If it’s September 19, then it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day! The perfect excuse to drink industrial quantities of rum, grunt, growl, dress like Jack Sparrow, walk your parrot pet on the shoulder and call everyone you meet a scallywag. Blimey! That sure sounds like a lot of fun. Arr! So let’s walk the plank and see what’s this all about.
The origins of Talk Like a Pirate Day
It was June 6, 1995, when John Baur and Mark Summers – later known by their pirate names Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy – played racquetball. The story says one of them got injured during the game and reacted with an outburst of “Arrr!”. Thus the Talk Like a Pirate Day was born. Out of respect for the observance of World War II’s D-Day on the 6th of June, the soon-to-be world-renowned pirates decided to choose Summers’ now ex-wife’s birthday – September 19 – to celebrate pirate lingo.
At first, Baur and Summers celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day as an inside joke between two friends. But a few years later they sent a letter to Dave Barry, a syndicated humor columnist, who liked the idea and released it into the world. The rest… is history.
Over the years, the idea gained a lot of notoriety and is now celebrated internationally by people and brands everywhere. For example, in 2008, to celebrate the day, Facebook introduced a pirate-translated version of its website.
Pirate lingo: how to talk like a pirate
Arr! All right, ye’ bilge rat! It’s time to teach ye’ how to talk like a real pirate!
All you have to do is talk in a talk in deep, gravelly voice, grunt and growl a lot, use insults abundantly, yell “arr!” every now and then, mumble incoherently from all the rum you’ve drunk, slur your words, give up g’s and v’s in most words, and replace “you” and your“ with “ye” and “yer”.
Easy peasy, ain’t it? Here are some nautical pirate phrases to help you get into character easier:
- bilge rat – an insult referring to a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship – the bilge
- landlubber – a person unfamiliar with the sea or sailing
- avast – stop; cease and pay attention
- shiver me timbers – expresses shock, surprise or annoyance
- ahoy – hello
- aye – yes
- aye aye – used by sailors to confirm they understood the orders
- matey – a companion, a close friend
- booty – treasure
- buccaneer – pirate or free sailor known in the Caribbean Sea during the 17th and 18th centuries
- feed the fish – about to die
- Jacob’s ladder – a rope ladder
- old salt – experienced pirate
- walk the plank – force someone to walk off a plank on a ship; to accept the consequences
- lad, lass, lassie – a younger person
- bucko – friend
- cat o’nine tails – a whip with nine strands
- dead men tell no tales – leave no survivors
- yo-ho-ho – an expression of delight
- weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! – pull up the anchor and get the ship sailing
Arr! Is Talk Like a Pirate Day one of the best parodic holidays ever or what? Not even World Chocolate Day sounds as good as talking like a pirate all day long with ye’ maties.
Avast, ye! Pirates have discovered a new way to learn languages!
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