Tag Archives: Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day

Missed opportunity

This past Sunday, September 19, was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And I forgot about it. What an opportunity I missed! I was teaching Sunday school, and I told the story about how Theodore Parker didn’t kill the turtle, and learned to listen to his Conscience. But I could have told the same story in pirate talk:

Arr, ye scurvy little swabs, listen to what I have t’ tell ye….

Once upon a time thar lived a little lad named Theodore Parker. He was born a landlubber who lived on a farm in Lexin’ton, Massachusetts. His granddaddy had been one o’ th’ rebels who started the Revolutionary War, by shootin’ at the Redcoats (the scurvy dogs) on Lexin’ton Green. Ev’ry mornin’ when he was drinkin’ his grog, he could look up at his grandaddy’s musket hangin’ over the fireplace.

One fine day, Theodore’s father took ‘im to a distant place on th’ farm, then sent ‘im back alone. The little lad saw a turtle sunnin’ itself, and like the good little pirate he was, he raised up his stick. “Ah me beauty,” says he, “you’re dead meat.” But then he heard a voice, sayin’ to him, “Avast there, ye little bilge rat! Belay that! Shiver me timbers! ‘Tis wrong to strike that turtle!”

“Aye aye, sir!” says Theodore, an’ put down his stick, an’ ran smartly home to his mother to tell her the story. “Mother,” says he, “a voice told me not to strike the little turtle. What was that voice?”

“Sink me!” she ejaculated. “”Tis a dangerous voice, that. Some call it th’ Conscience, and some call it th’ Voice of God in th’ Soul. ‘Twill try t’ hornswoggle ye out of bein’ a pirate. Next time ye hear that voice, heave to, come about, an’ run as fast as ye can down wind. Set yer topgallants if ye can, for if that voice gets alongside ye, ’twill fire a broadside that’ll clear your decks. Nay, my lad, if ’tis a pirate you’d like to be, if ’tis the booty ye’d like to take, if ye want to feel the doubloons and pieces o’ eight running through yer fingers some day, IGNORE THAT VOICE!”

“So if it comes agin,” said little Theodore, “I’m t’ give it th’ black spot?”

“Aye, me bucko,” said she, roarin’ with laughter, “that’s the spirit! Next time yer Conscience comes, send it t’ Davey Jones’ locker! Put it in a hempen halter an’ hang it from the yardarm!” Mrs. Pirate Parker gave her little lad a tankard o’ grog to buck him up, and then she gave him a stout belayin’ pin an’ sent him back to kill that turtle.

An’ that’s the story of how little Theodore learned t’ ignore his Conscience. When Theodore became a grown man, he had long since stopped listenin’ to his Conscience,an’ he became one o’ th’ Transcendentalist scallywags, scourge o’ th’ respectable Unitarians, terror of th’ liberal theologians. Ah, he was a fine one he was, you may lay to that!

An’ that’s me story, my little hearties. Be ye like Theodore Parker. Ignore yer Conscience, so ye can grow up t’ be a theological Pirate like him. Arrr!


Aye, Matey, hope ye didn’t ferget that today be National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

If ye did ferget, why ye still have time t’ go out ‘n’ talk like a pirate. Go down t’ the fast food joint on the corner an’ say, “Arrr, mateys, bring me a hunk o’ hardtack an’ a jug o’ grog, and be quick about it, or ye’ll be strung from the yard arm afore sunset.” An’ when the scurvy dogs with the white coats come t’ take ye away, why jist tell ’em that ’twas I, Bloody Dan, that told ye t’ do it.

(An’ thanks be t’ Ms. M., the bonniest and wickedest pirate lass ever t’ sail the Seven Seas, who reminded us afore ’twas too late….)

Talk like a pirate

Fortunately, Ms. M sent email reminding me that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

In our church office, Linda, our secretary, and I are both big fans of talking like pirates, and we have been taking full advantage of this annual celebration. Claudette, our administrator, just looks at us and shakes her head.

A couple of minutes ago, Claudette said, without turning around from her computer, “OK, it’s time for me to go. Anything else you want before I take off?”

Linda said no, but I said, “Just one thing. We want to hear you talk like a pirate just once today….”

This strange, gruff voice came from Claudette’s desk. “Arrr, why would I want to do that foolishness?”

After a moment of shocked silence, Linda and I laughed. “Hey,” I said, “You’ve got the best pirate voice of any of us!”

“Of course I do,” said Claudette, grinning. “I’m older and wiser than both of you.”

“‘Pegleg Claudette,’ that’s what we’re going to call you,” said Linda.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The official Web site of International Talk Like a Pirate Day doesn’t go much beyond instructing you in the use of such basic pirate-talk as “Ahoy,” “Avast,” Aye-aye,” and “Arrr.”

But popular literature offers many more possibilities for creative pirate-talk that go beyond a few simple add-on words. Here are longer pirate-talk phrases (some with translations) from the ace writer of pirate-talk, Robert Louis Stevenson:

There’s never a man looked me between the eyes and seen a good day a’terwards, you may lay to that!

We’re that near the gibbet that my neck’s stiff with thinking on it. — Things are not going particularly well.

Stow that! Don’t you get sucking of that bilge.

Ah, it’s a fine dance you’ll do, and it’ll look mighty like a hornpipe in a rope’s end at Execution Dock by London town, it will. — You are in deep trouble.

To extend the silliness further, below are some of the sayings of Nancy Blackett, Amazon pirate, terror of the seas (from the children’s book Swallows and Amazons):

Let’s broach a puncheon of Jamaican rum.

Drink to the Jolly Roger, skull and cross-bones, death and glory, and a hundred thousand pieces of eight! But you aren’t a pirate, so you can’t drink to that.

I’ll shiver your timbers for you if you don’t stop chattering, Peggy.

Barbecued billy-goats!

Let’s parley first and fight afterwards.

Now grab a cutlass and shake a leg, and talk like a pirate for all ye’re worth. For if ye don’t, ye’ll find yerself in Davy Jones’s locker with the fish cleaning your bones for ye. Arrr!

This just in…

This just in via email from Craig, a reader of this blog out in Wisconsin:

Happy “Talk Like a Pirate” Day!

I wish people would tell me these things before I go to work in the morning. A whole day of normal talk wasted… wasted I tell you.


Thank ye fer tellin’ us, matey. So, dear readers, don’t be wastin’ the rest of yar day — start talkin’ like the pirate you truly arrrrr, shiver me timbers.