Ahoy, mates. Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated annually on Sept. 19 and it’s not just for drunken sailors. In fact, kids of all ages love this strange-but-true national holiday. With some family-friendly fine-tuning, the day can be enjoyed by pirates of all ages. To help your family get into the spirit of Talk Like a Pirat Day here’s a bit of history and trivia, plus sayings to get into the swashbuckling spirit.
History of Talk Like a Pirate Day
John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy) of Albany, Ore. created Talk Like a Pirate Day in 1995. They proclaimed that on every September 19, everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. According to Summers, the day is the only holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. He explains on his website that during a racquetball game between himself and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of "Aaarrr!" and the idea was born. At first an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when the founders sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry in 2002. Barry liked the idea and promoted the day. Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry's column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally.
Aren’t Pirates Bad?
The founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day have to say this…
"Well…yeah. Let’s get this straight. Real pirates were and are in no worth emulating. We, on the other hand, are thinking of movie pirates, the pirates of books, myth and legend. Think Long John Silver in “Treasure island.” Pretend pirates."
How To Talk Like a Pirate
International Talk Like a Pirate Day is always celebrated on September 19 and it’s easy to participate. Simply add some pirate talk into your everyday conversation. Here are some phrases to repeat on Talk Like a Pirate Day:
- Shiver me Timbers
- Blow me Down
- Walk the Plank
Talk Like a Pirate Day Trivia
- Actor Robert Nixon is known as the “Patron Saint of Talk Like a Pirate Day.” The actor portrayed pirates in the 1950 Disney film "Treasure Island," the 1954 film "Long John Silver," and the 1952 film "Blackbeard, The Pirate."
- The archetypal pirate grunt "arrr!" (alternatively "rrrr!" or "yarrr!") first appeared in fiction as early as 1934 in the film "Treasure Island" starring Lionel Barrymore.
- It has been speculated that the rolling "rrr" has been associated with pirates because of the location of major ports in the West Country of England, drawing labor from the surrounding countryside.
- One of the most influential books on popular notions of pirate speech was "Treasure Island," a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.
- When the wind blows hard on a wooden ship, the timbers literally rattle. This is a cause for surprise and concern ... therefore, "shiver me timbers" is an expression of surprise.
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