How to Talk Like a Pirate
To be a pirate, ye must talk like a pirate! So before you set sail, you better brush up on your pirate lingo. Here are a few pirate phrases that will keep you from walking the plank!
Ahoy: “Hello” or used as an interjection to attract attention or to hail a ship or a person.
Arr!: An exclamation.
Avast!: Stop or desist.
Aye: Yes or an affirmation.
Becalmed: The state of a vessel that can not set sail due to lack of wind.
Bilged on her anchor: A ship pierced by its own anchor.
Black Spot: A black smudge on a piece of paper, typically representing a death threat.
Blimey!: An exclamation of surprise.
Chase: A ship that is being pursued.
Code of Conduct: The set of rules that pirates must obey while on the ship.
Come About: To turn the ship completely in the wind.
Davy Jones’ Locker: A fictional place at the bottom of the ocean that most often means death. The legend of Davy Jones is that he sank every ship he took and created a watery grave for all pirates aboard these ships. “To die at sea is to go to Davy Jones’ Locker.”
Fire in the hole: The warning before a cannon is fired.
Give no quarter: The refusal to spare the lives of the enemy.
Grog Blossom: The redness on one’s nose caused by drinking too much alcohol.
Hang the jib: To put or frown.
Hornswaggle: The act of cheating.
Loaded to the gunwalls: To be drunk.
Marooned: To be stranded, typically on a desert island.
Motherload: Lots of bounty!
Mutiny: The act of rising against authority, typically the captain of the ship
Overhaul: To either slacken a line or to gain upon a chase and overtake another ship.
Piracy: The act of robbery at sea.
Plunder: To steal one’s booty or to rob.
Reef Sails: Partially tying the sails to shorten them with the intent to slow down the ship or to keep a strong wind from putting too much strain on the masts.
Rope’s end: Term for being flogged.
Run a rig: Play a trick.
Sail ho!: An exclamation that another ship is in view.
Sea legs: Adjusting one’s balance to the motion of a ship, especially in rough seas.
Shiver me timbers!: An expression of surprise and strong emotion.
Strike colors: Showing surrender by lowering a ship’s flag.
Swab: To clean the ship or a disrespectful term for a pirate.
Walk the plank: The act of being forced off a ship by pirates as punishment or a form of torture.
Weigh Anchor: To leave port.