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International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Yo Ho Ho, Landlubbers!
Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day
Ahoy, matey! Wednesday, Sept. 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Brush up on your pirate vocabulary, grab your eye patch, get your puffy shirt dry cleaned, and bring a little seafaring fun to your office or classroom. The History of These Swashbuckling Shenanigans The holiday began as an inside joke between pals John Baur and Mark Summers in 1995. For reasons not even understood by themselves, they began speaking like pirates while playing racquetball, saying things to each other like, “That be a fine cannonade” (“Nice shot, dude”) and “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm” (“But watch this”). They decided Talk Like a Pirate Day needed to become official, so they chose Sept. 19, which was Summers’ wife’s birthday (and the only date he could remember besides Christmas and the Super Bowl). In 2002, they pitched the idea to humor columnist Dave Barry, who promoted it in his syndicated column, and the concept quickly spread internationally. Did Pirates Really Talk Like That? The “pirate-speak” popularized in movies and Disney attractions probably sounds nothing like real pirates did in
centuries past. Today’s swashbuckling phrases delivered in a strong Southwest England accent can be traced back to Robert Newton’s 1950 portrayal of Long John Silver in the movie “Treasure Island.” Historically, English-speaking pirates probably sounded more like Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Unfortunately, the pirates of the Golden Age didn’t leave behind any YouTube videos to confirm this. Learn the Lingo, Landlubber Participating in Talk Like a Pirate Day is easy — you just need to know a few key phrases. “Ahoy, matey” means “Hello, friend!” “Blimey, that son of a biscuit-eater hornswaggled me out of me doubloons” means “Darn it, that jerk cheated me out of my money!” “Shiver me timbers, that old salt is three sheets to the wind” means “Wow, that old sailor has had too much beer.” And if a pirate (or your boss) says, “Swab the deck, ye bilge rat, or it’s Davy Jones’ locker for ye!” start mopping the floor immediately.
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