Ahoy, me hearties! Celebrated for the first time in 1995, this fun holiday encourages people of all ages to talk and dress like pirates. Grab yourself an eye patch and bandanna and partake in some of these fun pirate activities – shiver me timbers!
Dress up like a swashbuckling pirate with these easy DIY pirate ideas, bonus points if you can carry a parrot or a monkey on your shoulder!
- Find an old white, black or stripey t-shirt (the baggier, the better) and with permission and adult support, tatter the bottom of the shirt and cut strategically placed holes and slits.
- Make an eye patch out of black card and some elastic, or alternatively use black face paint to draw an eye patch over one eye.
- Find a large bandanna or scarf to wrap around your head and tie at the back.
- We think this Jellycat Bashful Monkey is the perfect cheeky companion for any aspiring pirate!
Once you look the part, you and your pirate friends could play a game of Pirate Snakes and Ladders or Pirate Skittles. Whilst playing, don’t forget to talk like a pirate, calling your friends ‘matey’ and shouting 'Yo-ho-ho' when you win the game. You could even make the loser walk the plank into shark infested waters – yikes! Or how about a pirate-themed party with edible gold coins and balloon sword fights – the possibilities are endless on International Talk like a Pirate Day, this September 19th 2022.
Pirate Greetings and Exclamations
Learn to say “hello” the pirate way!
- ahoy - hello
- Avast ye! - Stop you!; pay attention!
- blimey - something said when one is in a state of surprise
- heave ho - instruction to put some strength into whatever one is doing
- Savvy? - a question that means, “Do you understand?”
- Shiver me timbers! - an expression used to show shock or disbelief
- Sink me! - an exclamation of great surprise
- yo ho ho - possibly from yo-heave-ho, a chant when doing strenuous work, but also can be used to call attention to the speaker
Understand what pirates have to say with popular pirate slang.
- briney deep - the ocean
- cackle fruit - hen's eggs
- Davy Jones' locker - mythological place at the bottom of the sea where drowned sailors were said to go
- fire in the hole - a canon that is loaded and ready to fire
- hang the jib - to frown or scowl
- hearties - friends and comrades
- hornswaggle - to cheat, swindle
- peg leg - a wooden leg
- run a rig - play a trick
- sea legs - when a pirate can walk comfortably on a moving ship
- scuttle - to sink a ship
- swashbuckler - a daredevil
Phrases Related to Pirate Ships and Crew
Next time you’re aboard a ship, you’ll be able to speak like a pirate.
- abaft, or aft - toward the back of the boat
- all hands hoay - everyone on the deck
- batten down the hatches - a signal to prepare the ship for an upcoming storm
- bilge - the lowest decks of the ship, often filled with water.
- crow's nest - the place on the ship where the lookout stand is built
- duffle - a sailor's belongings and the bag they were carried in
- dungbie - rear end of the ship
- head - toilet on board the ship
- Jacob's ladder - rope ladder that was used to climb aboard ships
- Jolly Roger - the famous pirate flag with a skull and crossbones on it
- old salt - a sailor that has a great deal of experience on the seas
- orlop - lowest deck in the ship where cables are stored
- poop deck - deck that is the highest and farthest back
- rigging - the lines and ropes that held the sails
- seadog - an old sailor or pirate
Pirate Terms About Money and Weapons
Of course, no pirate story would be complete without the right words for weapons and treasure.
- booty - treasure or loot
- bounty - the reward for a deed
- coffer - a chest full of treasure
- cutlass - type of sword used by the pirates
- doubloons - Spanish gold coins
- pieces of eight - Spanish coins