As I’m sure you all know, Friday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Invented in 1995 by John Baur (aka “Ol’ Chumbucket”) and Mark Summers (“Cap’n Slappy”) as a personal joke, the day became widely known after journalist Dave Barry wrote about it in his syndicated column in The Miami Herald.

Now every September 19th, CEOs use the term “land-lubber”, homeless people ask you for “pieces of eight” and people around the world greet each other with “Ahoy, me hearty!” (although McDonalds employees are still required to use the more traditional “Hail fellow, well met” as their standard greeting).

Followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster also observe International Talk Like A Pirate Day, claiming that pirates were “peace-loving explorers and spreaders of good will” who distributed candy to small children, and that modern pirates are in no way similar to “the fun-loving buccaneers from history.”

The official patron saint of International Talk Like A Pirate Day is actor Robert Newton (above), who portrayed Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1950) and Long John Silver (1954). Largely forgotten now, Newton was once a favourite of the English schoolboy audience, with both Tony Hancock and The Who’s Keith Moon citing him as a role model. I’m not sure which is more surprising – that Keith Moon had a pirate as a role model, or that Keith Moon had role models at all…

Proving that there is no limit to the concept of “celebrity”, the creators of International Talk Like A Pirate Day appeared in an episode of Wife Swap in 2006. They played “a family of pirates” along with Baur‘s wife, Tori. Baur also appeared on the game-show Jeopardy, introduced as “writer and pirate.”


Their official website can be found at, where you can also find links to pirate name generators, English-to-pirate translators, and lists of pirate acts, “or acts with significant pirate content”. There’s also a list of pirate pick-up lines (presented in reverse order, David Letterman-style).

Top Ten Pickup lines for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day

10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?

9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?

8. Come on up and see me urchins.

7. Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.

6. I’d love to drop anchor in your lagoon.

5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?

4. How’d you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?

3. Ya know, darlin’, I’m 97 percent chum free.

2. Well blow me down?

1. Prepare to be boarded.

No sign though, of my favourite pirate joke:

Q. Why can’t children go to pirate movies?

A. Because they’re rated Arrrrrrr…..


23 Responses to Arrrrrrrrr!

  1. Tim says:

    This site is also amusing, it can translate entire Web pages into Pirate:

    I ran an Age article on the Liberal Party leadership change through it, and got this:

    Dr Nelson declined Mr Turnbull’s offer o’ a fore-bench position an’ will sit on th’ aft bench, but plans t’ seek preselection fer th’ 2010 election. He spake ‘t be important Mr Turnbull an’ his team “be havin’ ever’ opportunity t’ present th’ future an’ t’ work as they be seein’ fit”.

    In his first news conference as leader, th’ multimillionaire Mr Turnbull, a former merchant banker, sought t’ counter his silvertail image, sayin’ he did nay come t’ th’ leadership “from a lifetime o’ privilege”.

    “I know what ’tis like t’ be very short o’ treasure. I know what ’tis like t’ live in rented flats. I know what ’tis like t’ grow up wi’ a single parent, wi’ nay support other than a devoted an’ loyal father.

    Now can’t you just imagine Turnbull talking like that?


  2. Dave AA says:

    Sorry Tim, but even talking like a pirate can’t make Liberal Party leadership struggles interesting…

  3. outlandinstitute says:

    Although DRESSING like a pirate might…

  4. Dave AA says:

    Or if the leadership battles involved real canons and cutlasses…

  5. Anne-Marie says:

    I just want to say that Mr Depp is just so damn pretty when he’s a pirate.

    I don’t think the many pirate name generators really know me very well.

    One gave me “The Iron Fist”. Anyone want it? Dan?

    Another gave me – Commodore Linda the Drunk. Not keen on that either. I mean – Linda!!!

    Then I got
    Captain Anne Rackham
    with explanation
    Even though there’s no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you’re the one in charge. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

    That one was OK

    Almost-Crazy Eve Napier – better than totally crazy I guess

    Sealegs Pegs

    then I got bored

  6. Tim says:

    Captain Rackham makes me think of Captain Wrack, played entertainingly over the top by Lynda Baron in the 1983 Doctor Who story “Enlightenment”. She was eye-rollingly, walk-the-plank having fun with that role. (warning: nerd alert)

    Though I suppose they might be thinking of the Tintin book, “Red Rackham’s Treasure”…

  7. Tim says:

    And by th’ way, ye may address me as Cap’n Tom Flint. Arrr.

  8. Dan Cardone says:

    In a world filled with pointless things, this really takes the pointy cake, as the case may be. I mean, why actually be any good at anything, or do anything good for anyone else, when you can just be irredeemably stupid and pointless and achieve notoriety that way? I’m sorry kids, but I’m putting my foot down on this one…

  9. Anne-Marie says:

    You can definitely adopt “The Iron Fist” as your pirate name.

  10. Dan Cardone says:

    I prefer “The Scruffy Parrot” or “Scurvy Tits”.

  11. outlandinstitute says:

    I remember my mum taking us all to see “Scurvy Tits” at the Forest Drive-In when I was a kid. It was very exciting but I was so young I could never stay awake until the end… Not as good as the book, though.

  12. Dan Cardone says:

    I can’t believe your mum took you to see ‘Scurvy Tits’ as a kid! The plot is way too complicated for children. Why, the symbolic use of tankards during the Jugs Ahoy sing-a-long alone could boggle the mind of Christian Metz.

  13. outlandinstitute says:

    “Jugs Ahoy” IS very catchy though…. I think children just enjoy it for the colour and movement, and all the gratuitous nudity. And Shari and Lamp Chop appear, of course.

  14. Tim says:

    You people are just trying to mess with IMDb, aren’t you?

    By the way, my other half is currently on jury duty and the trial finishes tomorrow – I’ve reminded her she should be delivering the jury’s verdict in full Pirate style.

    I’ve also had a go at doing my own blog posting for International Talk Like A Pirate Day – you can see it at

  15. syms says:

    Dear god, I thought this would be one of those odd stupid internet fashions that would die out – don’t tell me people haven’t moved on from the inaugural year this was done (with a few hardcore dregs washing over to a second year)…

    That said I did always hope that Sneak a Zucchini onto Someone’s Else’s Porch Day would catch on more than it has. Yes…

  16. Dan Cardone says:

    Now i just want some zucchini pancakes…

  17. outlandinstitute says:

    “the trial finishes tomorrow – I’ve reminded her she should be delivering the jury’s verdict in full Pirate style.”

    That sounds like an episode of Boston Legal! Mmmmm… heartwarming.

    And those zuchini pancakes do sound good. Although this – “Pancakes may be frozen in a single layer between waxed paper up to 3 months.” Who would do that? really, who?

  18. Dave AA says:

    “Who would do that? really, who?”

    Someone who’s sick of Cauliflower Cheese.

  19. outlandinstitute says:

    I just have this image of someone saying “I’m hungry. I know! I made those zucchini pancakes two-and-a-half months ago…”. That’s just odd.

    I imagine Cauliflower Cheese doesn’t freeze very well. That’s why they made “Cauli Cheese In A Can” and “Cauli Cheese On A Stick”.

    I love the way this started off about pirates and eventually became about cooking.

  20. Naomi says:

    Just to riff completely off-topic (but I like to feel I’m contributing), here’s a top-ten of fantasy putdowns I came across a few years ago to match your top ten pirate pick-ups:

    *So much for the story that it was a magic sword.
    *The lion rampant is really a bit misleading, isn’t it?
    *I thought Hogwarts was a school, not an ailment.
    *That’s not a frog and I’m not kissing it
    *It’s a cl*toris, not the frigging holy grail – you’re expected to find it!
    *Next time you’re down there, perhaps you should leave your visor down.
    *What do you mean you can’t mount without your squire?
    *I had expected that this quest would involve more than a two minute ride.
    *Well, I guess that wand really does need a wizard.
    *You say chain-mail; I say spam.

  21. Steph BG says:

    International Talk Like A Pirate Day is a thing of beauty and will live forever, aye.

    Rrrrark! Pieces of 8.8 (GST inc.)!

  22. Janet says:

    I tried two of the pirate name generators. I got:

    Captain Eye-Gougers and Bloody Anne Bonney (rather like this one).

    The latter also said:

    Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it’s the open sea. For others (the masochists), it’s the food. For you, it’s definitely the fighting. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate’s life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

    So that’s me nailed then.

    And Naomi, you’re a star!

  23. Janet says:

    Also, I’m working through the four series’ of ‘Hancock’s half hour’ at present. In one episode he decides he wants a knighthood for services to the theatre and does a series of Shakespearean plays as Robert Newton (as Long John Silver). It’s interesting watching Julius Caesar limp on with a crutch and a parrot on his shoulder. And the squint . . . And the ‘Arrr, Jim lad’ . . . And Hamlet . . . And Richard III . . . etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: