Avast! And… uhm, well – arrrghhh me mateys!
If this is already stretching the limits of your swashbuckler vocabulary then The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum has the remedy you need to prevent further landlubber faux pas.
“Actually, pirates came in all shapes and sizes and each was unique in their own way, including how they spoke. Thus, there is no wrong way to talk like a pirate,” said Pat Croce, founder and owner of the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum. “I invite everyone to come on down to the pirate museum on September 19 and give it a shot!”
Croce and staff also recommend the Taberna afterparty.
"This is going to be one swingin' from the yarddarms party, mateys," said pirate museum event organizer Laura Hoyt.
The event is FREE and open to the public for all the courtyard and Taberna Tavern activities. Admission to the Pirate and Treasure Museum is half-off for those who come dressed in pirate garb or bring a book to donate to the St. Johns County Public Library Bookmobile (see bookmobile schedule).
Croce will also be on hand for a book signing for his latest release in his children’s series on pirates, but this one will be on his very favorite of all time – Sir Francis Drake. The book will make its debut at the Talk Like a Pirate Day event.
Read excerpts from eye witness accounts of Drake’s Raid in the little fledgling Spanish outpost of St. Augustine
“Sir Francis Drake will live on in St. Augustine lore as the pirate who burned St. Augustine in 1586, and while some call him ‘privateer’, Queen Elizabeth I herself called Drake ‘my pirate,’” said Croce, who said it was a “no-brainer’ to have the book’s debut at the pirate museum, with a view of the Matanzas where Drake sailed in to attack St. Augustine. The grounds of the adjacent Colonial Quarter has remains of several of the earliest wooden forts – one which Drake’s men would have attacked and burned before sacking the city.
Croce also received worldwide attention on 2010 discovered the remains of two of Drake’s funeral ships off the coast of Portabelo, Panama. He has said in previous interviews that his ultimate goal one day will be to discover the remains of Drake himself – reputed to have been buried at sea in a lead coffin.
“I have this vision of one day returning him home under escort – sailing up the Thames with the drummers drumming and flags flying, to present this most illustrious son of England and favorite of Elizabeth I before the current Queen and her namesake, Elizabeth II,” he said.
The popular television character Jake the Pirate will also be on hand, portrayed by Swashbuckler Scott Cushnie.
The lively schedule this year also includes a book drive, sword fighting, panoramic group pirate photo, live musical entertainment, “landing” of the St. Augustine Swashbucklers’ pirate ship, W.M.S. Revenge, and a special day-long, pirate-themed menu next door at Colonial Quarter’s Spanish-inspired tavern, Taberna del Caballo, where an evening piratical post-party will occur once the festivities wind down at the museum.
Here’s the schedule for this year’s Talk Like a Pirate Day:
- Palencia Elementary School Visit (Note: not open to public)
A Letter of Marque will be presented to students by Pat Croce, and the St. Augustine Swashbucklers’ Capt. William Mayhem.
- Appearance by Jake
Beginning at 4 p.m. Come meet and have your picture taken in the museum’s courtyard with Jake, from the popular children’s television program!
- Musical Entertainment, Book Drive, and Pirate Ship Landing
5:00 p.m. The St. Johns County Public Library’s Bookmobile and the St. Augustine Swashbucklers’ pirate ship, W.M.S. Revenge, will lay their anchors at Colonial Quarter’s trolley stop just a stone’s throw away from the museum’s courtyard, where musical entertainment will be provided. Between there and the trolley stop, look for the Balloon Buccaneers offering delightful balloon creations. Face painting, pirate meet-and-greets and magic routines will be part of the ongoing entertainment.
- Book Signing: “Sir Francis Drake” by Pat Croce
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The world-wide debut of Pat Croce’s newest illustrated children’s book, “Sir Francis Drake,” is highlighted by a meet-and-greet session, where purchasers of the book can get their copy personally autographed and can have their picture taken with Mr. Croce as well! Sir Francis Drake will also be in attendance for photo opportunities.
- Annual Group Pirate Photo
7:00 p.m. Our annual panoramic group picture of costumed pirates in the museum’s courtyard is always a hit! If you’re dressed as a pirate, feel free to jump in the picture as well!
- Piratical Post-Party
7:30p.m. Head on over next door to Colonial Quarter’s Spanish-inspired tavern, Taberna del Caballo, to enjoy food and drinks from our special pirate-inspired menu as well as a mélange of activities. Those will include traditional pirate games such as a liar’s dice tournament and Drake’s “game of bowls.” Beginning at 8:00 p.m., enjoy live musical entertainment featuring shanty sing-alongs, courtesy of Dirty James and the Rusty Anchors.
Now, for more a quick cram session how-to on Pirate Lingo, you can pick up a copy of any number of fine handbooks – including St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum owner Pat Croce’s excellent The Pirate Handbook (also available at the museum gift shop, or for now, here’s this cheat-sheet:
Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! – this is overused in modern times as a greeting, but was actually an exhortation of discontent or disgust back in the day
Ahoy! - Hello!
Ahoy, Matey - Hello, my friend!
Ahoy, me Hearties! - the same as saying "Hello, my friends!"
All hand hoay! - comparable to all hands on deck
Avast ye - stop and check this out or pay attention
Aye - yes
Batten down the hatches - put everything away on the ship and tie everything down because a storm is brewing
Bilge-sucking - insult
Blimey! - exhortation of surprise
Blow me down! - expression of shock of disbelief akin to "Holy Crap!"
Blow the man down - command to kill someone
Booty - treasure
Buccaneer - a pirate
Bucko - a buccaneer
Cat O'Nine Tails - a whip with nine strands
Corsair - pirates in the Mediterranean Sea
Crow's nest - small platform atop the mast where the lookout stands
Cutlass - short heavy curved bladed sword used by pirates
Davy Jones' Locker - fabled, mythical place at the bottom of the ocean where the evil spirit of Davy Jones brings sailor and pirates to die
Dead men tell no tales - phrase indicating to leave no survivors
Doubloons - other coins or found in pirate hoards and stashes
Feed the fish - will soon die
Hang 'im from the yardarm - punishment of those captured in battle
Head - the pirate ship's toilet
Heave Ho - give it some muscle and push it
Hempen Halter - a noose for hanging
Hornswaggle - to defraud or cheat out of money or belongings
Jacob's Ladder - the rope ladder one uses to climb aboard a sloop
Jolly Roger - pirate's flag including white skull and crossbones over a black field
Keelhaul - punishment in which a person where dragged underneath the pirate ship from side to side and was lacerated by the barnacles on the vessel
Lad, lass, lassie - a younger person
Landlubber - big, slow clumsy person who doesn't know how to sail
Letters of Marque - letters issue from governments during wartime to privateers endorsing the piracy of another vessel
Man-O-War - pirate's ship outfitted for battle
Me - my
Mizzen - third mast from the bow of the ship on ships that have three or more masts
Old Salt - an experienced sailor
Pieces of eight - coins or found in pirate stashes
Pillage - rob, sack or plunder
Poop deck - the part of the ship farthest to the back, which is usually above the captain's quarters. This is not the bathroom.
Privateer - government-sponsored pirates
Rum - pirate's traditional alcoholic beverage
Run a shot across the bow - warning shot to another vessel's captain
Savvy? - do you understand and do you agree?
Scallywag - mild insult akin to rapscallion or rogue
Scurvy dog - the pirate is talking directly to you with mild insult
Scuttle - to sink a ship
Seadog - old pirate or sailor
Shark bait - will soon join Davy Jones' Locker
Shipshape - cleaned up and under control
Shiver me timbers! - comparable to "Holy Crap!"
Son of a Biscuit Eater - insult directed towards someone you don't like
Thar she blows! - Whale sighting
Three sheets to the wind – If you are a pirate wannabe, you probably already knew this one, ay? But for the uninitiated: someone who is very, very drunk. Further observation: One sheet - mildly drunk; four sheets - passed out!
Walk the plank - punishment in which person walks off a board jutting over the side of the ship while at sea. The consequence is drowning and a visit to Davy Jones' Locker.
Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! - pull up the anchor and the sail and let's get going
Ye - you
Yo Ho Ho - cheerful exhortation to demand attention