“Ahoy, mateys” could be heard all around the world last Thursday, Sept. 19 as many individuals celebrated the international holiday, Talk like a Pirate Day. According to the official website, the holiday celebrated its 11th year where festivities such as talking like a pirate, dressing up like a pirate and attending pirate parties took place. What originally started as a joke amongst friends John Baur and Mark Summers in June of 1995 has become a widely recognized holiday.
The idea was born after a sports injury from a game of racquetball, in which Baur and Summers were playing, when one of them cried out, “Aaarrrr!” This encouraged them to continue pirate slang throughout the entire game, and led to them choosing a day to privately celebrate the day for the next seven years.
It wasn’t until they spontaneously decided to send an email describing their invented holiday to columnist Dave Barry, that the holiday got exposure. Enjoying the idea of the quirky holiday, Barry decided to write a column about it. Not soon after, the media began to promote it and people from all around the world were celebrating the holiday.
Websites such as Facebook have also joined in on the celebration. In 2008, Facebook introduced a Talk like a Pirate Day translation available to users over their regular language. Many phrases and words exist to make the average person sound like an authentic pirate straight off of Blackbeard’s ship. To prepare for the celebration, the website offers several slang words to increase your pirate vocabulary. One of the worst insults to call another is a “bilge rat.” This insult is so negative because the bilge is the lowest level of a ship, which means you are calling another person a rat that lives in the scummiest location on the ship.
If you happen to want to attract another pirate, there are several suggested pickup lines such as, “wanna shiver me timbers” or “pardon me, but would ya mind if I fired me canon through your porthole?” However, if these pick-up lines are too forward for you, the best possible way to address a woman is to call her a “beauty,” and insert the word into a phrase like, “C’mere, me beauty.” Likewise, if you are a woman, the best way to address a male is to say a friendly phrase such as “Ahoy, matey!”
If English is not your first language, the website also offers various pirate language guides in German, French, Swedish and Mandarin Chinese. Pirate advice on what kind of games to play if you are hosting a party or what kind of apparel to wear is also available.
Universities are one of the best places to celebrate this holiday. Even though Talk like a Pirate Day has passed, consider locating your inner marauder, and become a pirate for Halloween using these tips to become the most authentic pirate you can be.