Beyond the Arrr:

Quick-start guide to REALLY talking like a pirate.

The basics.

Just like any other language, Pirate has different dialects, turns of phrase and accents. But there are a few things that are consistent across the board:

Ahoy! means "Hello!"

Avast! means Stop! or Attention! It can be also use to express surprise, as in "Avast, ye mateys! Get a load of me unexpectedly large booty!"

Aye! - Pronounced, "eye." It means, "Why, yes, I am in complete agreement with everything you've just said or done, mate."

Aye aye!- Pronounced, "eye, eye." It means, "Yes, sir! I'll get right on it!"

Arrr! - may be used to express agreement, excitement or that you're about to say something, anything. Use generously when speaking in Pirate tongues.

Tips for turning phrase.

1. "My" becomes "Me."

Whether using it as a pronoun or determiner, "my" should be replaced by "me" when speaking Pirate. Consider using "me" particularly when referring to "me mateys" or "me booty."

2. Catch up on your nautical know-how.

Pirates are men of the sea. And their idioms have come to reflect their seafaring ways. Sprinkle references to sterns, bows, masts and knots into your everyday. But be sure to know what they mean. A seaman can always spot a fake.

3. Sensational slur.

Yo, ho, ho... gimme that bottla rum, indeed! I mean, all that time at sea? It's not hard (or uncommon) for a pirate to be consistently deep in his cup. But you don't need to be of legal drinking age or three sheets to the wind to pull it off. Just relax your lips. Let your s's hiss a bit. Mix up common words. And be economical with what you say: take a few words, combine them into one. Ahoyyematey! Always does the trick.

4. Threaten with abandon.

Pirating is serious biz. It's not all parrots and eye patches. Real pirate speak is peppered with insults and threats that punctuate any point. Consider:

  • Sweep the poop deck, Robinson, er I'll feedya to the blimey sharksss.
  • Put a cover on that TPS Report or you'll be hangin' from the gallowsss.
  • Say that one more time and yer headed straight for Davy Jones' locker, matey!

5. Avoid Pirate cliches (or they'll make you walk the plank).

Last thing you want is to get busted for being an impostor. You're in the middle of the sea, after all. Avoid common "Pirate" cliches like "shiver me timbers" and "yo, ho ho and a bottle of rum" (whoops!). Don't wear patch unless you're missing an eye. Always go with the glass eye. And unless you're the captain: No parrots.

6. Hornswaggle.

It means to cheat, steal, defraud out of money or belongings. Don't actually hornswaggle anyone. Just use the word at least once a day.