Avast, Me Hearties!

Rob Temple
Avast, Me Hearties!

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy there all ye stout lads and saucy lasses!  This be Capt. Greybeard, ye trusty advisor in all matters piratical.  As ye well know, September 19th be International Talk Like a Pirate Day and it’s my aim herein to put ye on course for some proper piratical discourse so drop ye anchor for a gam [chat] and I’ll fill you to the gunn’ls with some salty terminology.

First off we’ll get underway with getting’ yer bearin’s.  Never say “left” or “right.”  That’s lubberly talk and ye best clap a stopper on it and stow it below.  It’s always “port” and “starboard” and ye’ve got me starboard flipper [right hand] on that. Avast [stop!] saying “front” and “back.”  It should always be “fore” and “aft.”  When a pirate goes upstairs he “lays aloft” and when he comes back down he “goes below.”  The bathroom’s the “head” and the kitchen’s the “galley.”  If you like a wench’s looks, ye could say ye like “the cut of her jib.”

On this special day, I’d advise making liberal use of ye Pyrate’s Alphabet.  Having only two letters, it doesn’t take long to learn:  “Aye!” and “Ahhrrr!”  Whenever anyone says something ye like or agree with just bellow out, “AYE!”  And when they say anything ye disagree with, don’t like or don’t understand, or to which ye can’t think of a fittin' response, just yell, “AAAHHHRRRR!

YOUR BOSS:  “Great weather we’re having isn’t it?


YOUR BOSS:  “So I was thinking you wouldn’t mind taking out the trash and sweeping the parking lot.”



Here are a few other expressions to throw around when you’re practicing piracy:

Fire a shot across his bow = give him a warning

He slipped his cable = he died

There’s rocks in yer lee = you’re heading for trouble

Sun’s over the yardarm = it’s cocktail hour

Spin me a yarn = tell me a story 

There’s the devil to pay and no pitch hot = we’re in a tough situation

Scuttlebutt = rumor

By the wind = broke, penniless

Shipshape and Bristol fashion = tidy and neat

Making heavy weather = exaggerating the difficulty of a job

Round the buoy = take a second helping at meals

Sojering =  shirking when work is to be done

Lash up = temporary or sloppy job

Half shot or half seas under = nearly drunk

Shot in the locker = money left over after an evening’s carouse.


Fair winds to ye now, and smooth sailing on September 19th!

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