Yarr, mateys. September 19th is the official Talk Like a Pirate Day, and we wouldn’t let pass the opportunity to tributethe most kickass profession in the world. Enjoy!
Talk Like A Pirate
Now, landlubbers. We should start with the basics. We can’t have you talking like that on this special day. Here’s some basic lingo you should know. Screw these and you’ll walk the plank:
Ahoy! – “Hello!”
Avast! – Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, “Whoa! Get a load of that!” which today makes it more of a “Check it out” or “No way!” or “Get off!”
Aye! – “Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.”
Aye aye! – “I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over.”
Arrr! – This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. “Arrr!” can mean, variously, “yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” “I’m enjoying this beer,” “My team is going to win it all,” “I saw that television show, it sucked!” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.” And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!
Beauty – The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty,” or even, “me buxom beauty,” to one particularly well endowed. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.
Bilge rat – The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It’s loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. On TLAP Day – A lot of guy humor involves insulting your buddies to prove your friendship. It’s important that everyone understand you are smarter, more powerful and much luckier with the wenches than they are. Since bilge rat is a pretty dirty thing to call someone, by all means use it on your friends.
Bung hole – Victuals on a ship were stored in wooden casks. The stopper in the barrel is called the bung, and the hole is called the bung hole. That’s all. It sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it? On TLAP Day – When dinner is served you’ll make quite an impression when you say, “Well, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.” That statement will be instantly followed by the sound of people putting down their utensils and pushing themselves away from the table. Great! More for you!
Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren’t prepared to be picky about that, either. Call your beer grog if you want. We won’t stop you! Water aboard ship was stored for long periods in slimy wooden barrels, so you can see why rum was added to each sailor’s water ration – to kill the rancid taste. On TLAP Day – Drink up, me hearties! And call whatever you’re drinking grog if you want to. If some prissy pedant purses his lips and protests the word grog can only be used if drinking rum and water, not the Singapore Sling you’re holding, keelhaul him!
Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do. On TLAP Day – We are not big fans of the capering, it’s not our favorite art form, if you will, so we don’t have a lot to say on the subject, other than to observe that the common term for being filled with lust is “horny,” and hornpipe then has some comical possibilities. “Is that a hornpipe in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Or both?”
Lubber – (or land lubber) This is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution. A lubber is someone who does not go to sea, who stays on the land. On TLAP Day – More likely than not, you are a lubber 364 days of the year. But not if you’re talking like a pirate! Then the word lubber becomes one of the more fierce weapons in your arsenal of piratical lingo. In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is ALWAYS an insult.
Smartly – Do something quickly. On TLAP Day – “Smartly, me lass,” you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.
Look Like a Pirate
So now you control the lingo, aight? Time to stop looking like a land-lubber.
The Modern Pirate
On a serious note, piracy is much of an issue nowadays, and these infographics explain exactly how:
And most of you might remember the (sort of) recent case of the Sirius Star, the ship that was very recently over-run by Somalian pirates and made headlines pretty much everywhere in the world.
Piracy On The Internet
We’ve come a long way since the advent of the Internet. Nowadays everyone understands what is piracy, and no matter how many legal systems combat it, there’s always pirates at some corner of the web, and several degrees on which the Internet accepts or rejects it. Coincidentally, as we type this article, one of the sites that changed every paradigm in piracy (“in order to make a change”) just turned 14 some time ago. Happy birthday, The Pirate Bay.
The Pirate Bay carries all types of content accessible through torrents (so it’s not actually them who carry it, see?), and discussions get pretty heated when the morality of this is discussed. For example, it’s rare to find individuals in the hive-mind who are against music piracy, as most pirates justify it by saying they support the artists by seeing them live and buying merchandise and that this is just a blow to corporations or organizations such as RIAA (Record Industry Association of America), but when it comes to gaming there’s no such equivalent, so the practice is frowned upon. Then, positions vary when it comes to movies and TV shows, and it’s absolutely fascinating to see these exchanges of ideas, and rationalizations of a practice that gets more common by the day. Just remember, though, piracy has consequences so be careful what you do. You’re by yourself out in the vast sea of the web.
The Pirate/Geek Overlap
Arrrr, now it’s time to wrap up this tribute by naming the pirates some of us geeks admire and look up to:
The protagonist of the Monkey Island series is one of the most well known pirates in fiction. He can wield a sword and insult his way on a fight, hold his breath for over 10 minutes, and has a long history of defeating ghost pirates.
The main character of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies is one of the wittiest and funniest men in the sea, but we hope he doesn’t hear us calling him that.
Captain Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds
Yes, Space Pirates DO count. We see Mal and his crew throughout Firefly, and as each person that has seen the show, we can’t help but lament it was so short-lived.
The female protagonist of The Legend of Zelda: WindWaker, and another of the several incarnations of Princess Zelda. This time around, she commands a ship and plays a key role in Link’s adventure.