Friday Five: 5 Bits o' Pirate Speak t' Add t' Yer Vocabulary Fer Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Robyn Norgan
Sep 19, 2014

Arrr mateys! Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Shiver me timbers I be excited 'bout today! I already be changin' me Facebook arrrcount's tongue t' "English (Pirate)" fer today by goin' t' "Ye Ship's Rigging" (Arrrcount Settin's) and changin' me tongue on the "General Arrrcount Settin's" page. Now that ye be a true buccaneer on Facebook, ye need t' know these 5 bits o' pirate speak that ye can not only use today, but e'eryday!

1. Hornswaggle

Hornswaggle is definitely a fun and funny word to add to your vocabulary. I think it might be my new favorite, especially since it reminds me of a Friends episode. Friends fans will recognize it from the episode where Chandler takes a bet to not make fun of his friends for a week and is tested in one scene after Ross announces he has a date with Elizabeth Hornswoggle (okay, okay it's one letter off, but still!). Well, although Chandler seems to think Hornswoggle is a character from Fraggle Rock, hornswaggle is pirate speak for "to defraud or cheat our of money or belongings." Bonus: Chandler is pirate speak for "a merchant in port that sells supplies for a ship."

2. Hang the Jib

Next time you pull out your camera to get a group photo of friends and family, don't just use the traditional "smile." Instead, tell them that they need not be hanging the jib! Hang the jib means "to pout or frown" in pirate speak. I suppose that after you get hornswaggled, it's difficult not to stop hanging the jib. I would also guess that being on a ship, especially back in a time when clean water wasn't always available, often made even seadogs hang the jib.

3. Clap of Thunder

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we don't get to use the words "clap of thunder" very often, as thunder is not often heard in the area. So, why not add it to your vocabulary in a different, more useful way? People in this area are much more likely to come into contact with the pirate meaning of "clap of thunder" - a strong, alcoholic drink. Yes, now you can impress your friends by telling them that you prefer a clap of thunder when you go out to the bars.

4. Splice the Mainbrace!

After you've ordered your clap of thunder, you'll be able to tell people that you're splicing the mainbrace. This is pirate speak for "to have a drink or perhaps several drinks" and was likely often used by pirates, as they were thought to be fond of rum. Luckily, whether you're a heavy drinker or you've just ordered one drink and then you're going to call it a night, you can still use splice the mainbrace to describe your night!

5. Me Hearties

If you're going to be ordering a clap of thunder and splicing the mainbrace, you shouldn't do it alone! This is where "me hearties" come in. Me hearties is another way to describe your friends in pirate speak beside the more well-known mateys. There is no more need for words like "mates" or "buddies" when you can be calling them "me hearties" instead!

Jack Sparrow Call Me Maybe Pirate Meme - Talk Like a Pirate Day

Hopefully ye've learned a lil' something that ye can use on Talk Like a Pirate Day as well as in general e'eryday life. Now, get out there and try yer new speak on yer mateys or I be makin' ye walk the plank t' Davey Jones locker! Fair winds to ye!

Talk like a pirate day
This post be scrawl'd by Cap'n Robyn Norgan, who be scribblin' under t' banner of the Dread Pirate Dynadot.