In Honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th, we’d like to share this pirate slang dictionary, developed by the inventors of the holiday.
In 1995, for reasons unknown to the inventors, they began talking in pirate slang during a game of racquetball, and decided to parlay this phenomenon into a new world holiday. The concept was picked up by national columnist Dave Barry who thought the idea was brilliant, and the holiday evolved into a national event.
For a complete dictionary, visit the inventors’ website, www.talklikeapirate.com, so you can celebrate the holiday to its fullest, and don’t have to worry about sounding like a land lubber. Arrrggghh.
Pirate lingo is rich and complicated, sort of like a good stew. But if you just want a quick fix, a surface gloss, a “pirate patina,” if you will, 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.
Ahoy! – “Hello!”
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!”
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 was awful!” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.” And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!