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Blackbeard Was The Most Feared Pirate Of All.

Talk Like a Pirate Day sails away annually on September 19th.

All you bilge rats, Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgh! As you are out and about on September 19th, don’t be surprised if people are saying, “Ahoy Matie,” “Avast,” “Aye, Aye Capt’n,” “Land ho!” “Hornpipe,” and many other pirate-like phrases, because it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  [See “Pirate” words below] 

  • The holiday was originally created by John Baur and Mark Summers. The idea came to them when one of them got hurt during a racquetball game and yelled out “Arrrr!”. They decided it would be funny to make a whole day where people talked like pirates. They chose September 19th because it was Mark’s ex-wife’s birthday and he figured it would be easy for him to remember.
  • Blackbeard was the most feared pirate of all. Blackbeard (AKA Edward Teach) was known as the most terrifying pirate in the world. Before capturing a ship he would weave hemp into his beard and light it on fire—an intimidation tactic that made him look demonic.
  • There were women pirates, too. Being a pirate wasn’t just for men. Famous female pirates include Mary Read, Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, and Ching Shi.
  • Pirates did have eye patches. It’s been said that one of the reasons pirates wore eye patches was to help keep one eye adjusted to night vision for seeing below deck.
  • Grog was the pirate’s drink—a mixture of rum, water, lemon juice, and sugar—was the drink of choice for pirates.
  • The English word “pirate” is derived from the Latin term “pirata” which means sailor or sea robber and from the Greek word “peirates” which literally means “one who attacks ships.”
  • The earliest documented instance of piracy was in the 14th century BC, when the Sea Peoples, a group of ocean raiders, attacked the ships of the Aegean and Mediterranean civilizations.
  • Julius Caesar was once kidnapped and briefly held by Cicilian pirates and held prisoner. When the pirates asked for a ransom of 20 talents ($600,000 in today money), he scoffed at them and demanded they ask for 50 talents.
  • In 1241, an English pirate named William Maurice was the first person known to have been hanged, drawn, and quartered, indicating the severity with which then-King Henry III viewed the crime of piracy.
  • William Kidd, or as he was known, Captain Kidd, was requested by an American governor to attack his fellow pirates, but was himself declared a wanted pirate, an accusation that was confirmed when he took an Indian ship hired by Armenian merchants, which just happened to be captained by an Englishman who held passes promising him protection of the French crown. Though he had been commissioned to take French ships, it didn’t hold up in court and he was summarily executed.
  • Pirate treasure wasn’t always just gold and silver. Most of it was food, lumber, cloth, and animal hides.
  • Pulitzer prize-winning humorist Dave Barry is responsible for popularizing the holiday.  Dave Barry was so smitten with the holiday after having been introduced to it via email in early 2002 that he dedicated an entire column to its publicity that September, turning an inside joke into a global sensation.
  • On June 4, 2013, state senator Roger Kahn’s proposal to grant Talk Like A Pirate Day official acknowledgement from the Michigan government was formally adopted, to the chagrin of some dissenting landlubbers.

Here are some words and phrases you can use to participate in this day:

  • Ahoy! – Hello
  • Aye! – Yes
  • Booty – Treasure
  • Colors – Flag
  • Matey – Shipmate or friend
  • Hearties – Friends
  • Lass – Woman or girl
  • Avast! – Stop
  • Blimey! – Something to say when frustrated
  • Savvy? – Do you understand?
  • Shiver me timbers! – Something to say when you are surprised
  • Yo-ho-ho – Something to say when happy
  • Ye – Use this instead of “you”
  • Aft – The back of the ship
  • Bilge – Bottom of the ship
  • Fore – Front of the ship
  • Port – Left side of the ship
  • Starboard – Right side of the ship
  • Buccaneer – Another name for pirate
  • Lad – Young man
  • Scallywag – Someone you don’t trust
  • Shanty – Song
  • Cutlass – Pirate’s sword
  • Doubloons – Gold coins or money
  • Jolly Roger – The flag of a pirate ship
  • Hornswaggle – Cheat someone
  • Marooned – To get stuck on a desert island
  • Walk the plank – To be forced to walk off a plank of the ship into the ocean
  • Weigh Anchor – Get the ship ready to sail

Famous Fictional Pirates

Faith Based Events
  • Captain Hook – Peter Pan
  • Long John Silver – Treasure Island
  • Captain Jack Sparrow – Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Dread Pirate Roberts – The Princess Bride
  • Captain Hector Barbossa – Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Morgan Adams – Cutthroat Island
  • Captain Crook – McDonald’s commercials
  • Pittsburgh Pirate – Major League Baseball
  • Captain Feathersword – The Wiggles
  • The Flying Dutchman – SpongeBob SquarePants


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