If you didn’t know, 19th September each year is a special event – it is “International Talk Like A Pirate Day”. We have some phrases to help should you wish to speak like a pirate. It is a strange and interesting language but in reality pirates never really spoke with a particular accent. Anyhow, let’s have a look at some basic phrases to help you on your quest in learning Pirate English. The good thing is that they all start with “A”.
This is quite a common phrase and perhaps the one which you will first learn as it means “Hello!”.
This is a phrase to express surprise and is similar to “Oh my goodness!”.
Another simple phrase in English which means “Yes!”.
4. Aye aye!
Similar to the phrase above but is repeated which just means “Yes of course!”. You may also hear it in Star Trek with a certain Scottish actor – “Aye aye Captain!”.
This is a general phrase which is used when pirates want to be scary. You may hear them saying “Arrrr!!!” in a group when they agree with each other and can mean “That’s a great idea!” or “I agree!”.
Here is a video to help you learn a bit more about Pirate English and suitable phrases from those above. Have a listen and see if you can understand their accent. It is difficult but with more practice you will be able to develop your Pirate English.
Okay, those are the simple phrases to help you with your first start in learning Pirate English. Best of luck but there are also some more complicated phrases in English which originate from Pirate English. Here are five more:
1. Shiver me timbers!
This is quite a useful phrase which you could use when you want to express shock or disgust. A similar conversation could be:
A. “My son broke his leg!”
B. “Shiver me timbers!”
2. Batten down the hatches!
This is quite interesting and originates when a ship had to lock their doors when they were sailing in a storm. They had to batten down the hatches to make sure everything was safe from danger. It is also a phrase which you could use when speaking Pirate English or during a normal conversation. In a normal conversation, this phrase means that you expect someone to tell you off for not doing something.
A. “My wife told me to do the washing up and I haven’t done it yet!”
B. “Batten down the hatches. She is gonna tell you off!”
A. “I know!”
If you want to call someone naughty, there are some phrases you could use in English or Pirate English. In Pirate English, you could use “Scallywag” or in English use “Cheeky Monkey”.
A. “My son never does what I ask him.”
B. “He’s such a scallywag!”
4. All hands on deck
If everyone needs to do something and finish a task, normally you could say “Come on everyone, let’s finish this!” but in Pirate English or English which has originated from the Navy, you could say “All hands on deck people, let’s finish this!”. A useful phrase if you want to show off your Pirate English among your friends!
5. Yo ho ho!
This is a useful expression if you want to express your enjoyment with something and is similar to something Father Christmas would say “Ho ho ho!”. If you are with your friends at a bar or restaurant, you could say “Yo ho ho!” when having a great time.
I hope this helps with your own Pirate English but there are a few websites to help you with learning more about Talk Like A Pirate Day with a dedicated website. There is also a glossary of terms and phrases which originate from the Navy or Pirates. If you didn’t know, you can change the language on Facebook to Pirate English to even have a go at reading and writing in Pirate English. Try it out!