Originally written on September 19, 2021. Updated 2023
Ahoy there ye lily livered blaggards!
Today It is the Talk Like A Pirate Day, and that means it’s time for pillaging and drinking rum!
Pirates have been all the rage in recent years and out of that particular fascination came a completely insane and idea: that there should be a day dedicated to keeping the piratical language alive and, more importantly, the tradition of all things related to pirates.
So Talk Like a Pirate Day was invented, and now it’s time to celebrate with all of the pirate talk that can be mustered in a single day.
Thus, as you are out and about on September 19th, don’t be surprised if people are saying, “Ahoy Matie,” “Avast,” “Aye, Aye Capt’n,” “Land ho!” “Hornpipe,” and many other pirate-like phrases.
Well…It was June 6, 1995, when a group of friends were playing racquetball at Albany, Oregon.
All throughout John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) were shouting encouragement to each other. And on this day, for reasons unknown to them, they started shouting piratical slang at each other.
From there it just kind of took on a life of its own, and they realized by the end of the game that it was necessary that they establish a holiday to celebrate the use of such a fine vernacular.
The first step they needed was a date. That game took place on June 6, but out of respect for the observance of the Normandy landings, they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember.
For the next seven years they honored this holiday, in relative obscurity, until they happened upon the email address of one Dave Barry, a syndicated columnist and author of a great number of books. He also happened to be hilarious, like any good pirate should be. And from there it’s all history: Dave Barry promoted the holiday, and it’s been one amazing year after another as people all over the country celebrate this unusual holiday.
How to celebrate?
Absolutely with lot of fun, first because it’s just a silly day, and thus be sure to involve all of your pirate-like silliness.
This obvious application of the celebration might be a little more difficult than one might think. Because, who actually knows what pirates sound like when they talk?
An observer of this holiday would greet friends not with “Hello, everyone!” but with “Ahoy, maties!” or “Ahoy, me hearties!”.
Well, some phrases are more commonly known still today, like “pillage” or “landlubber”. But others are a little harder.
“Son of a Biscuit Eater” is what pirates might call someone they don’t like, the idea being that a biscuit eater is refined and, well, not a pirate.
Upon hearing “All Hand Hoy!”, everyone needs to get on deck to help out, while “Bring a Spring Upon ‘er” is a phrase meaning to turn the ship in another direction.
“Grog Blossom” is a person who has a red nose because they drink too much alcohol (probably rum).
But you can also read some Pirate tales, from classic to modern, and surely reading some books about pirates will help to build up that Talk Like a Pirate Day vocabulary.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Pirate by Sir Walter Scott, The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton by Daniel Defoe are just some examples, but there are also the classic Peter Pan by JM Barrie. And probably did you know that the original Peter Pan stories from 1904 are much darker than the Disney animated remake films!
Not into reading? No problem, as there are really a lot of films about pirates.
The Pirates of the Caribbean series of films can take up a nice chunk of time with its 6 different titles in the serie. Or you can try a modern day somewhat-true-to life pirate story starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips.
Well mate, celebrating talk like a pirate day can be as easy.
Simply pour a few drinks and gather with friends to celebrate the day in your piratey best clothing.
Who can resist a backyard barbecue with grilled pineapple, salmon made by walkin’ the plank, and a perhaps inappropriately large amount of pure sugar cane rum? This is certainly the perfect day for it!
While ordering your coffee, ask if they have change for gold bullion, or try testing your pirate language out at the library when asking for the location of Moby Dick. When your boss gives you a new project, “Aye, aye, Capt’n,” is the correct response. However, beware calling the boss any frothy names as the goal of the day is also not to lose your job!
Images from web – Google Research