ARRRRR You Ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day?

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is Thursday, September 19. Which means you have less than a month to become fluent in Pirate Talk before then. We're celebrating Talk Like Pirate Day at the Park Hill Branch on Saturday September 21st at 3:00PM with a Pirate celebration and we've all been brushing up on our Pirate Talk. Here's some key vocabulary to catch you up to speed:

Addled-- Mad, insane, or just stupid. An "addlepate" is a fool.

Avast!-- Hey! Could also be used as "Stop that!" or "Who goes there?"

Belay-- Stop that. "Belay that talk!" would mean "Shut up!"

Bilge!-- Nonsense, or foolish talk. The bilges of a ship are the lowest parts, inside the hull along the keel. They fill with stinking bilgewater—or just "bilge."

Bilge-Sucking-- A very uncomplimentary adjective.

Deadlights-- Eyes. "Use yer deadlights, matey!"

Handsomely-- Quickly. "Handsomely now, men!" = "Hurry up!"

Jack Ketch-- The hangman. To dance with Jack Ketch is to hang.

Jolly Roger-- The pirates' skull-and-crossbones flag.

Keelhaul-- Punishment by dragging under the ship, from one side to the other. The victim of a keelhauling would be half-drowned, or worse, and lacerated by the barnacles that grew beneath the ship.

Kiss the gunner's daughter-- A punishment: to be bent over one of the ship's guns and flogged.

Lights-- Lungs. Pirate threat: “I’ll have ye lights and liver."

Rum (noun)-- Traditional pirate drink.

Rum (adjective)-- Strange or odd. A "rum fellow" is a peculiar person.

Smartly-- Quickly. "Smartly there, men!" = "Hurry up!"

Splice the mainbrace-- To have a drink. Or, perhaps, several drinks.

Start practicing now and you can all be fluent by the big day. This list is just a taste of all the grand pirate lingo out there. If you want more information on pirates, it just so happens we've got lots of pirate stuff at the library. So use your deadlights and have a look at all this great booty, matey!

Written by Thane on September 3, 2013


anojau on September 3, 2013


Why are americans so crazy about pirates? They are not to be famous. They hurt lots of people. Not just in the past but also now. Read news about somalia and west africa. Very sad can the library pick another thing to celebrate? Please.

Laurie. on September 4, 2013


Thanks Thane! Have you ever used Mango, the Libraries language database? It includes a unit on historic Pirate speak with accents and everything. Visit - Arrr!

Anonymous on September 4, 2013


thank you for clarifying both keelhaul (i thought it was more like hamstringing) and Rum (adj) i thought that was more like a good fellow...

Anonymous on September 4, 2013


did you know that you can set your facebook language to pirate?!

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