English Language Blog

Talk Like A Pirate Day Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Culture

Did you know there is an International Talk Like a Pirate Day?  Well there is and it is today! This “holiday” has been celebrated since it was created by two Americans, who love pirates, in 1995.  Certainly this is not a normal holiday, the primary basis of this special day is to simply talk like a pirate.  The people who observer International Talk Like a Pirate Day take advantage of this day to greet friends and stranger, not with words like “Hello,” but with pirate talk like, “Ahoy, matey!”

I am not sure if pirates in all languages have their own special accent or vocabulary, but in English they do or they did, back in the day of pirates.  In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day I have some English pirate vocabulary for you today.  To hear this type of pirate talk in action all you need to do is watch Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  There is plenty of pirate talk in these movies.

English Pirate Vocabulary:

ahoy –  hello

Example: Ahoy there!

avast – Stop and give attention.

Example: Avast, a ship ahead.

aye – yes

arr or argh or arrgh – a general pirate sound that might mean ‘yes’ or I’m upset or just about anything

blimey –  used to express frustration.

Example: Blimey the ship is leaking again.

buccaneer – a pirate

he’s gone to Davy Jones’ locker – He is dead. (Davy Jones’ locker = bottom of the sea)

me hearties – my friends

Example: Aye, me hearties we set sail at noon.

matey – a person, usually a friend (short for ‘ship mate’)

shiver me timbers – an expression of surprise

yo-ho-ho – a completely meaningless phrase that is just said for fun

booty – property or treasure taken by pirates

Example: Where is all the booty hidden?

doubloons – gold coins Example: Hands off the doubloons matey.

landlubber or lubber – a person who lives on land, someone who is not a sailor or pirate

lass –  a girl or young woman

Arr, now go out there you landlubbers and talk like a real pirate!

If you want to learn more about speaking English, not like a pirate, remember Transparent Language has many resources to offer!

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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.