How to Talk Like a Pirate

Two Methods:StepsPirate Vocabulary

"Talk Like A Pirate Day" be celebrated on September 19, 'n would-be buccaneers who'd be tryin' t' natter like a corsair had best learn t' speak th' lingo. If ye reckon that jus' sayin' "arrrr" at th' end o' every utterance will fill yer sails 'n float yer ship, reckon again, landlubber. It'll jus' get ye tossed o'erboard! So don't settle fer bein' an imitation pirate:learn how t' be authentic n' colorful, like a real swashbucklin' scallywag o' th' sea!


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    Growl—and scowl—often. Pirates don't use a cultured, elegant, smooth vocalization. They growl, mutter, and scowl, all the better t' rattle yer timbers an' chill ye to th' bone.
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    Use pirate lingo. Sounding like a pirate ain't hard t' do. Thar be lots o' fancy tools for picking up pirate lingo, includin' online dictionaries, even iPhone apps. Make use of them.
    • Try to affect a swashbucklin' attitude with your delivery. There be nothin' as unconvincin' as a shy pirate.
    • Avoid using modern epithets (swear words). It's much more colorful (and kid-friendly) to use "pirate slang" for those naughty words, or learn entire creative ways to say the same thing. For example, instead of saying somebody smells like dog droppings, say "Ye smell like ye been swimmin' in the bilge!"[1]
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    Gesture with your hands frequently. If ye need t' be drivin' the point home, gesticulate! Don't forget that buccaneers do most of their natterin' on th' deck o' a ship—out on t' ocean, where wind, waves, n' bird calls make it tough t' hear. Gesturing often gives you a sense of "being there." Just be careful wavin' that hook around. Ye could put n' eye out!
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    Slur your words together. Saying, "The boys and I were out for a lovely day on the water today" sounds like something you'd overhear at a snooty yacht club, not out on the bounding main, and th' only Dave Jones they know is the one from the Monkees!
    • Instead, try, "Me 'n' these here scurvy scallywags drug our sorry keesters out t'th'ship'n'had us a grand great adventuaaarrr! We almost had t'keelhaul Mad Connie f'r gettin inter th' grog behind our backs!" Always drop your Gs, and use contractions whenever possible. Be sure to punctuate often with "Arrrr!"
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    Never ever use "you" or "you're." Instead, use the piratical form, "yer", "ye" or "ya" for all forms of address to others. "Yer a scurvy bilge rat, ya pompous gasbag." or, "Here's yer dinner, ya mangey cockroach." Note that you should always endeavor to call the addressee by some insulting name, usually involving an animal, criminal, or noxious odor.
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    Embellish at will. A pirate be larger than life, and a buccaneer's bellowings should always reflect this. Don't just say, "We saw a whale off the starboard bow today." Say, "Me'n'th' crew seen a great grand sea beastie, th' mother of all whales, aye, an' then th' kraken came!"
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    Refer to yourself as "me" at all times, never "I." It is not piratically correct to say, "I have a cold." It is far better as a pirate to declare, "Got me a case o'th'sniffles, 'ass rye!"
    • More importantly, substitute "me" for "my." For example, don't say, "Look at my new sword," say "Lookit me new sword!" Also substitute "meself" for "myself" as in "Got meself a right fine ship!"
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    Mutter unintelligibly unless yelling. Being a pirate usually meant being liquored up to some degree. A lot of time, pirates were pretty mush-mouthed. In the step preceding, the term "'ass rye" actually translates to "that's right." Get it? Aye, ye better or ye be walkin' the plank, ye pustulant, pox-ridden flounder!"
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    Be as loud, abrasive, and confident as humanly possible. Pirates ain't fer bein' shy. Stand tall, me hearties, and be counted!
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    Get a stuffed toy parrot and sew feet to right shoulder of a second hand store jacket. This will put you in the mood to adhere to the above mentioned rules and guarantee an abundance of "yers and arghs".

Pirate Vocabulary


  • The more colorful you are, the more successful you will be as a pirate - why, you might end up as Cap'n!- This is false- You become captain by killing and plundering mercilessly. You must wear attire that is distinguishable from other pirates but not laughable
  • Don't worry about whether people understand you. Just squint with one eye (your good eye, the other should be covered by an enigmatic black patch) and nod meaningfully, as if they do understand, when you're asked to explain. Saying, "Ayyyyyyyye" softly, and stroking your mustache can also help to persuade them that they did understand you the first time.
  • Loud and lusty wins the day in Piratespeak!
  • Arrr! If you be a practicing pastafarian, ye may wish to punctuate yer greetings with a "His blessings be upon thee, scurvy dog!"


  • Also be sure ye keep to the code. Don't ye be wanderin' round not knowin' what yer doin!
  • If you plan to indulge in grog or other piratical spirits, don't attempt to steer your own ship home, matey!

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