I had heard about Talk Like a Pirate Day a few years ago, but had never really participated in it. This year I actually heard about it through Jo-Ann’s craft store, who are probably doing a kid event to celebrate it. So when I found out it was today, I had to post about it. The flag posted above is the more traditionally recognized Jolly Roger flag, though there were variations. To find out more and learn about the flag and why it was so feared, check out this anthropological article.

I have been fascinated with pirates for a long time. It probably started when I was 7 and my family went to Walt Disney World. We went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which became one of my favorites. When I went back to Disney World the three times after that, that was the one ride that I always had to go on because even though it was so outdated, it made me laugh. So naturally, when the came out with the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, I was curious how they could make an entire movie based off animatronic pirates and wenches. But they managed to make it fun and kooky, courtesy of Johnny Depp’s specific talents and a whole lot of blue screen shenanigans. It was around this time that I read Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, a book that I had always loved the story of but had never actually read. I grew up with the 1950 Disney version of the story, but my favorite adaptation is definitely Muppet Treasure Island because Tim Curry makes an excellent pirate and I love the Muppets and their songs.

Eventually I ended up living in South Carolina and for little weekend trips, my husband and I would travel down to Charleston to go to the beach and just relax. It is a great city if you’ve never been. I like it way better than Savannah, GA. Anyways, there is a good amount of pirate history there as it is a port city and pirates such as Edward Teach (Blackbeard) used it. One of our favorite restaurants to go to in the Charleston area was this one called Queen Anne’s Revenge, named after Blackbeard’s flagship. They had the best she-crab soup (sadly it’s closed down since we left SC). The restaurant even had a little pirate exhibit inside where you can learn about pirate history. It was there that I discovered the female pirates Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, and Mary Read have since read books about them to learn more.

I liked Talk Like a Pirate’s website so much, I figured I would include some of the information on here so that you too could “talk like a pirate” and learn about them as well. From the basics of how to talk page, here are some of the basic words/phrases you can use.

Here are the five basic words that you cannot live without. Master them, and you can face Talk Like a Pirate Day with a smile on your face and a parrot on your shoulder, if that’s your thing.


Avast! – Stop and give attention. It can be used in  a sense of surprise, “Whoa! Get a load of that!” which today makes it more of a “Check it out” or “No way!” or “Get off!”

Aye!“Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.”

Aye aye!“I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over.”

Arrr! – This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. “Arrr!” can mean, variously, “yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” “I’m enjoying this beer,” “My team is going to win it all,” “I saw that television show, it sucked!” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.” And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

Advanced pirate lingo; or On beyond “Aarrr!”

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to start expanding your pirate vocabulary. Try these for starters

Beauty – The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty,” or even, “me buxom beauty,” to one particularly well endowed. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.

Bilge rat – The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It’s loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. On TLAP Day – A lot of guy humor involves insulting your buddies to prove your friendship. It’s important that everyone understand you are smarter, more powerful and much luckier with the wenches than they are. Since bilge rat is a pretty dirty thing to call someone, by all means use it on your friends.

Bung hole – Victuals on a ship were stored in wooden casks. The stopper in the barrel is called the bung, and the hole is called the bung hole. That’s all. It sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it? On TLAP Day – When dinner is served you’ll make quite an impression when you say, “Well, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.” That statement will be instantly followed by the sound of people putting down their utensils and pushing themselves away from the table. Great! More for you!

Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren’t prepared to be picky about         that, either. Call your beer grog if you want. We won’t stop you! Water aboard ship was stored for long periods in slimy wooden barrels, so you can see why rum was added to each sailor’s water ration – to kill the rancid taste. On TLAP Day – Drink up, me hearties! And call whatever you’re drinking grog if you want to. If some prissy pedant purses his lips and protests the word grog can only be used if drinking rum and water, not the Singapore Sling you’re holding, keelhaul him!

Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do. On TLAP Day – We are not big fans of the capering, it’s not our favorite art form, if you will, so we don’t have a lot to say on the subject, other than to observe that the common term for being filled with lust is “horny,” and hornpipe then has some comical possibilities. “Is that a hornpipe in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Or both?”

Lubber – (or land lubber) This is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution.         A lubber is someone who does not go to sea, who stays on the land. On TLAP Day – More likely than not, you are a lubber 364 days of the year. But not if you’re talking like a pirate! Then the word         lubber becomes one of the more fierce weapons in your arsenal of piratical lingo. In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is ALWAYS an insult.

Smartly – Do something quickly. On TLAP Day “Smartly, me lass,” you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.

Because I think these are funny and there wasn’t a whole lot of female pirates out there, I wanted to include these pick-up lines from the same page.

Top Ten Pickup Lines for the Lady Pirates

10. What are YOU doing here?

9. Is that a belayin’ pin in yer britches, or are ye … (this one is         never completed)

8. Come show me how ye bury yer treasure, lad!

7. So, tell me, why do they call ye, “Cap’n Feathersword?”

6. That’s quite a cutlass ye got thar, what ye need is a good scabbard!

5. Aye, I guarantee ye, I’ve had a twenty percent decrease in me “lice         ratio!”

4. I’ve crushed seventeen men’s skulls between me thighs!

3. C’mon, lad, shiver me timbers!


…and the number one Female Pirate Pick-up Line:

1. You. Pants Off. Now!