Shiver me timbers! Today marks the 10th Anniversay of International Talk Like a Pirate Day! It’s only fitting that we acknowledge Blackbeard’s stint in the waters off of Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands by amusing ourselves and our friends by talking like a pirate instead of ye ol’ landlubber!
On June 6, 1995, friends John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) began using pirate lingo while playing a game of racquetball and were having so much fun that they then decided to parlay this phenomenon into a new world holiday. The date Sept. 19 was chosen because it was Mark’s ex-wife’s birthday, and the only date that came to mind at the time, besides Christmas and Superbowl Sunday, which were obviously already taken.
The first seven Talk Like a Pirate Days were celebrated amongst Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy and their closest friends. The two friends soon realized it would be a great idea to spread the word of this fine day and make it official. National humor columnist, Dave Barry, received word of the holiday and paid homage to it in a 2002 column. Avast! Talk Like a Pirate Day started gaining international appeal!
HOW TO TALK LIKE A PIRATE
Check out this list of terms and phrases and be sure to partake in International Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Avast!- Stop and give attention or used as a sense of surprise. “No way!”
Aye- “Yes, I agree.”
Arr!- There are many meanings such as, “Yes.” “I agree.” “I’m happy.” “I’m enjoying…”
Shiver me timbers!- An exclamation of surprise, as when a ship hits something causing everything to shake.
Heave ho!- “Give it some muscle and push it!”
Thar she blows!- Signifies a whale sighting.
Shipshape- “Cleaned up and under control.”
Touch and go- Refers to briefly running aground, or two ships coming aboard to transfer mail or passengers, both risky propositions.
Pipe down- Most 18th century ships had a lights-out rule, indicated when the bosun’s pipe sounded. Even pirate ships had a set time when those who were not on watch were expected to go to bed.
Mind your Ps and Qs- Refers to tavern keepers who would extend credit to sailors and would keep track of how many pints or quarts of ale their customers consumed.
Batten down the hatches- Saying used to let everyone aboard know to put everything away on the ship and to tie everything down because a storm is brewing.
Now, that ye ol’ pirate vocabulary is in shipshape, go out there and spread the word of this fun-filled holiday!