Damme I almost forgot – today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Shiver me timbers, I am such a gob.

I thought I would re-post some writing and graphics from previous Pirate Day essays. Either that, or I could write on the upcoming US Presidential race–the two are interchangeable.

re-printed from 2003’s Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ye be a sorry lot and not a True Pyrate amongst ye! Me thinks it’s because ye can’t talk like a pyrate. How can ye be a True Pyrate if ye can’t talk like one, I says to meself.

A few lessons in how to Talk like a Pyrate for the Pyrate Impaired:

From Maritime Pirates

Cackle Fruit – hen’s eggs

Hempen Halter – hangman’s noose

Nelson’s Folly – rum

Run a rig – play a trick

From Pyrate Talk:

To Go on Account – a pleasant term used by pyrates to describe the act of turning pyrate. The basic idea was that a pyrate was more “free lance” and thus was, more or less, going into business for himself.

Take a Caulk – on deck of a ship, between planks, was a thick caulk of black tar and rope to keep water from between decks. This term came to mean to “take a nap” either because sailors who slept on deck ended up with black lines across their backs or simply because sailors laying down on deck were as horizontal as the caulk of the deck itself.

Quarter – deriving from the idea of “shelter”, quarter was given when mercy was offered by the pyrates. To give no quarter was to indicate that none would be spared. Quarter was often the prize given to an honourable loser in a pyrate fight. If enraged, however, a pyrate would deprive the loser any such luxury.

From The Olympian:

Aye, aye: “I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over.”

Arr: “Yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” “I’m enjoying this beer,” “My team is going to win it all,” “I saw that television show, it sucked!” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.”

Beauty: The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in “C’mere, me beauty” or even “me buxom beauty.”

Lubber: This is short for landlubber and is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution.

From The Pirate’s Realm:

Avast – “Avast Ye!” from the Dutch term for ‘hold fast’ and means “Stop and pay attention.”, like, “Get a load of this.”

Black Spot – a death threat among pirates made of a black spot or mark on a scrap of paper with more specific detail sometimes written on the other side, referred to in the story, Treasure Island.

Black Jack – large drinking cups made of leather that were made stiffer with an application of tar

Bumboo – A drink of the West Indies made with watered rum and flavored with sugar and nutmeg


as for the flags…from the same day

Arrr, me beauties! Cast your eyes on the beauty of the flag we be sailing today, for Talk Like a Pirate Day. Some seek to cast our maidenly efforts into shadow with their offerings but soon find themselves cast adrift, the scallywags.



(Reverting to multisyllabic non-gutteral speech)

I know that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, rather than just plain Pirate Day, but a history buff such as myself can’t go through the day without imparting a few nuggets of piratical lore. For instance, the flag that I started and that Elaine beautifully modified was actually an adaption of the flag that the priate John Rackham used to fly. Rather than the traditional skull and crossbones, Rackham showed crossed swords beneath the skull’s head because, rumor has it, he was always up for a good fight.

As for the skull and crossbones, known as the Jolly Roger, rather than being flown to strike terror in the hearts of those about to be attacked, it was, in some ways, a reassurance – a promise that if the prey gave in without a fight, their lives would be spared. Maybe.

However, if a pirate flew a flag that was red in color, this was a signal that no quarter would be given, the pirates were out for blood. In fact, it’s been hypothosized that the name “Jolly Roger” was from the French joli rouge – pretty red.

So, what does our flag say? The crossed swords could signify that the women who fly it are up for a fight, but this message is somewhat softened by the gentle coloring and delicate detail, the tasteful bandana, and the elegant and stylish beaten gold earrings.

Perhaps what the flag is saying is that the women who fly it are up for a fight, but we’d rather not, thanks all the same. Or perhaps all it says is that though we may be deadly, we haven’t lost our keen fashion sense.

Of course, if a ship was carrying webloggers, there would be only one possible flag…

Updated for modern times, in honor of the political pundits among us who really understand what talking like a pirate is all about – the cat would be wearing jammies.

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