Talk Like Robert Newton Day

If you are interested in the origin of pirate lingo and elocution, Gretchen McCulloch has a good explanation in Slate today in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day. Look it up at Why Do Pirates Talk Like That?

But here’s a clue and it is both surprising and logical:


Continue reading “Talk Like Robert Newton Day”

Talk Like a Pirate

Did you miss National Talk Like a Pirate Day? It was today, the 19th of September, but you can start preparing for next year’s event. First, here is the official web site of Talk Like a Pirate, and second, memorize the following list of salty dialogue from R. L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island:

  • “Keel-hauling, was you? and a mighty suitable thing, too, and you may lay to that. Get back to your place for a lubber, Tom.”
  • “You’re a lad, you are, but you’re as smart as paint.”
  • “Three goes o’ rum! Why, shiver my timbers, if I hadn’t forgotten my score!”
  • “I’ve taken a notion into my old numskull.”
  • “Why, what a precious old sea-calf I am!”
  • “Now, treasure is ticklish work; I don’t like treasure voyages on any account; and I don’t like them, above all, when they are secret, and when (begging your pardon, Mr. Trelawney) the secret has been told to the parrot….It’s a way of speaking. Blabbed, I mean.”
  • “Pieces of eight! pieces of eight! pieces of eight!” [That’s the parrot talking.]
  • “Avast there!”
  • “Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest— Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!”
  • “Here it is about gentlemen of fortune. They lives rough, and they risk swinging, but they eat and drink like fighting-cocks, and when a cruise is done, why it’s hundreds of pounds instead of hundreds of farthings in their pockets. Now, the most goes for rum and a good fling, and to sea again in their shirts.”
  • “Here’s to ourselves, and hold your luff, plenty of prizes and plenty of duff.”
  • “Huzza, mates!”
  • “I don’t know about treasure, but I’ll stake my wig there’s fever here.”
  • “Why, in a place like this, where nobody puts in but gen’lemen of fortune, Silver would fly the Jolly Roger, you don’t make no doubt of that.”
  • “If I die like a dog I’ll die in my dooty.”
  • “Here are two of us with a brace of pistols each.”
  • “Have I lived this many years to have a son of a rum puncheon cock his hat athwart my hawser at the latter end of it?”
  • “Dead men don’t bite.”
  • “You mark me, cap’n, it won’t do twice, by thunder! We’ll have to do sentry-go, and ease off a point or so on the rum. Maybe you think we were all a sheet in the wind’s eye. But I’ll tell you I was sober; I was on’y dog tired.”
  • “This is as dull as the doldrums.”
  • “I’ll take a drain myself… I need a caulker, for there’s trouble on hand.”
  • “Ungrateful scamp.”
  • “Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese — toasted, mostly — and woke up again, and here I were.”
  • “By thunder, but I wanted some o’ that!”
  •  “Off to sea like jolly companions.”