Happy International Talk like a Pirate Day, Ye Scallywags ...

Guess what, maties? It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, technically the 16th annual celebration. Having seen myriad instances of appropriately pirate-y patois all over my Facebook, on my Tumblr, on AWS’s Tumblr, in all my text messages, and around various other social networks, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. In the interest of explaining this peculiar holiday to all our stalkers, I thought I’d take a little walk down the plank, discuss the history of the day, and give a few examples of proper private lingo.

One little known fact is that this fun holiday started in Oregon as a private joke between friends. Two gentlemen were enjoying a rousing round of racquetball when, apropos of nothing, they started talking like pirates. There was lots of “Arrr-ing” and the like; having never played racquetball myself, I can only assume that this isn’t exactly normal.

For years, the holiday – which happens to be today simply because it was the co-founder’s ex-wife’s birthday – was only celebrated between the two men, Mark Summers and John Baur. Nine years ago, however, they let David Barry, a humor” writer, know about it, and he ended up writing a column about it. Thus, in 2002, Talk Like a Pirate Day was officially born!

The holiday has passed by many people, all of them oblivious to the fact that the day was supposed to be devoted to sounding like Captain Jack, presumably while taking the opportunity to drink lots of rum. If you’d like to be prepared next year, though, let me share the origins of some proper pirate expressions with you:

“Ahoy, me hearties!” – this is what you say when you want to hale your friends. Alternatively, you can also call out to your “matey,” i.e. your special PBFF (pirate-best-friend-forever). “Hearties,” however, suggests you are greeting friends who have in some way displayed their courage, or heart.
“Shiver me timbers!” – this phrase actually first appeared in different novels, namely Jacob Faithful by Frederick Marryat, and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s actually kind of unpleasant, because “timbers” is the support frame of the ship and back in the day “shiver,” in this context, meant that something had fallen apart or broken into pieces. So, it’s an exclamation of disbelief, surprise, or displeasure, as you see fit, same to say, “Well bite my nose and call me Shirley!” or something of that nature.
“Davy Jones’ locker.” – if you ever want to threaten someone, threaten to send them here. Davy Jones is the name of a wicked spirit who haunts the deepest depths of the sea, so you can’t get to his locker unless you’ve drowned.
“Young pups!” – you can say this or, alternately, “young puppies,” if you really want to insult someone. Blackbeard the pirate considered this an extremely derogatory term.

Now, you’re all prepared to celebrate next year! Today’s question: But why is the rum gone?

Top Image Source: weheartit.com

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