Ahoy Matey! National Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th, but a pirate-themed party makes for a fun celebration all year ’round. Hosting a pirate party of your own? Then you definitely need to brush up on the lingo with our Pirate Speak tips! We’ve complied some vocabulary to help you get into character and talk like a pirate. You can also add in some pirate speak to your pirate party invitations.
Pirate Speak Tips
Basic Pirate Speak Tips
- Double up on all your adjectives and you’ll be prefec’ly pi-riffic with your phrasing. Pirates never speak of “a big ship”, they call it a “grand, giant ship!” They never say never, they say “No nay, ne’er!”
- Drop all your g’s: Examples: “rowin'”, “sailin'” and “fightin'”.
- Drop all your v’s: Examples: “ne’er”, “e’er” and “o’er”.
- Ne’er speak in anythin’ but the present tense. F’er example, instead of sayin’ “I am”, pirates say, “I be”.
- To help you really get started, be’in yer sentence wi’ a “Arr, me hearty,” or “Argh me matey” in a throaty voice.
How To Talk Like a Pirate: The Pirate Glossary
Black spot: to be ‘placin’ the black spot’ be markin’ someone for death
Buccanneer: a pirate who be answerin’ to no man or stinkin’ go’ernment
By the Powers: an exclamation, uttered by Long John Silver in Treasure Island
Cat o’ nine tails: whip for floggin’ mutineers
Cutlass: short hea’y sword with a cur’ed blade
Davy Jones’ Locker: the bottom o’ the sea, where the souls of dead men lie
Doubloons: pieces of gold…
Fiddlers Green: the private heaven where pirates be goin’ when they die
Furner: a ship which be yer own, not one ye steal an’ plunder
Gentlemen o’ fortune: a slightly more positive term fer pirates!
Go on the account: to embark on a piratical cruise
Grog: Aye, a pirate’s fa’orite drink
Jack: a flag or a sailor
Jolly Roger: the skull and crossbones, the pirate flag
Keelhaul: a vicious punishment where a body’s tied to a rope and dragged along the barnacle-encrusted bottom of a ship
Landlubber: “Land-lover,” someone not used to life onboard a ship
Lass: A woman
Lily-livered: faint o’ heart
Loaded to the Gunwales (pron. gunnels): drunk
Matey: A shipmate or a friend
Me hearty: a friend or shipmate
Pieces o’ eight: pieces o’ silver which can be cut into eights to be givin’ small change.
Privateer: a pirate officially sanctioned by a national power
Salmagundi: a dish of chopped meat, eggs, anchovies, onions and anything else the cook can throw in; a piratical delicacy
Scallywag: A scoundrel
Scurvy dog!: an insult
Shiver me timbers!: an exclamation of surprise
Sprogs: raw, untrained recruits
Squadron: a group of ten or less warships
Squiffy: a buffoon
Swaggy: a ship ye be intendin’ to loot!
Swashbucklin': fightin’ and carousin’ on the high seas!
Sweet trade: the career of piracy
Thar: The opposite of here
Waister: an incompetant sailor
Walk the plank: just as it sounds – into the sea for y’e!
Wench: a lady
Wi’ a wannion: wi’ a curse, or wi’ a vengeance
Yo-ho-ho: Pirate laughter
Do y’got what it takes to be a pirate? Yo-ho-ho, me thinks so!
Test your new knowledge and talk like a pirate throughout your party. Your guests are sure to be impressed by your knowledge.