International Talk Like a Pirate Day Language Lessons

Although my focus on September 19th this year will be on renaming it International Drink Like a Pirate Day, for most folks it will be about the talking thing. And even for us pirate drinkers, it is important to get the voice down just so. So my post today is intended to get you all ready to, well, talk like a pirate.
I want to start with the basics of pirate talk, The Five A’s. This first video is from the leaders of the ITLaPD movement, Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket, the Pirate Guys.

These five words, Ahoy!, Avast!, Aye!, Aye-aye!, and Arrrr!, must include the exclamation point when written, in case you were wondering.
For a more advanced and modern method of learning pirate, the good folks at Rosetta Stone are working on a new product, but I’m afraid it may not yet be available commercially. Perhaps the Navy has bought all available copies for use in the Indian Ocean. At any rate, take a good look:

TalkLikeaPirate.com has much more advanced information for your piratin’ usage, including Pirate Pickup Lines (“Have ye ever met a man with a real yardarm?”), German, Swedish, and Mandarin pirate talk, and even a link to Internet Pirate Chat Acronyms (WWLJSPD-What would Long John Silver’s parrot do?).
In the interests of trying to add something original to the ITLaPD phenomenon, I here offer several lists of suggested pirate talk while pirate drinking.
For pirates in bars:

  • “Ahoy, Barkeep! Ye be splashing me a flagon full o’ Cap’n Morgan’s best, and be smart about it!”
  • Arrrr, it be Harry the Hook! (Ed note—Harry the Hook’s real name is probably Dwight or Skip) Lay along side, and let yer old friend buy ye a beer.
  • Ahoy, me beauty! How can I find a map to your treasure?
  • Avast, Bartender! How many doubloons be I owin’ ye?
    Arrrrr?!?
    Who’s been plunderin’ me tab?

For pirate lassies in bars:

  • Avast Molly the Red and Bad Betty, me hearties! I be lovin’ this chanty the DJ be playin’! Let’s all go and dance the hornpipe together!
  • Avast, ye lubber! Steer to the lee, afore I plug yer bunghole with me boot!
  • Arrrr, me fellow pirate lasses. That bell be tellin’ me ’tis time to set sail together for the head!
  • Avast, me likely Barman! I’ll be havin’ another Cosmogrogitan.
    Arrrr?
    Arrrr, just be puttin it on yon sailor’s tab. He be buyin’ me grog this night!

And finally, for the tavern keeper, or his serving wenches:

  • Ahoy, Cap’n. What manner of grog be ye wantin’ to wash the taste o’ the sea from yer bilge?
  • Arrrr! ‘Tis a sad, sad sea tale ye just told, me pirate friend. What canna ye be wantin’ to drown yer sorrows?
  • Aye aye, Horrible Harry, Terror of the Lake Erie Main. One Appletini comin’ yer way smartly!
  • Avast, ye scurvy land lubber! Where be me doubloons for all yer pirate lagers? Ware, lest I take me belaying pin to yer noggin!

There’s much more video assistance with general pirate talk, but in the interests of not slowing down my main page load, I’ll jam it under the fold. Otherwise, be sure to be steerin’ yer way back to these waters on September 19th its own self. There’ll be lots of recipes to whet yer pirate whistle!

I posted this two years ago for TLAPD 2007, but it remains the definitive primer on How To Talk Like a Pirate:

And good ol’ Cap’n Slappy offers, in his usual coherent manner, a collection of useful pirate phrases:

And finally, because I can’t think of a better place to stick this video, I offer you this scholarly discussion that put to rest scientifically (scientifically!) any poltroonish notion that ninjas are cooler than pirates.

About the author

Doug

I am 48 years old, married with two young daughters. My interests are tennis, reading, computers, politics, and of course cocktails. I run a murder mystery party business that caters to both corporate and private events, Killing Time, murder consultants.

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