How To Talk Like a Pirate

Learn Yer Buccaneer Lingo!

Wearing pirate hat

Avast, me hearties! Yer dutiful Cap’n invites ye t' lend yer ear t’ his words o’ wisdom.

Let none o’ ye doubt me words, ‘pon pain o’ death! Aye, this be the best advice – serve ye well in a pinch, ‘twill, till ye find yerself adrift on a hogshead or asleep in Davy Jones’ locker!


  1. Simplify, ye poxy dogs! Mateys, mateys… why ye wastin’ precious breath on syllables and letters what ne’er do ye no good?! Bilge, that be! The good Lord above, in His infinite wisdom, created the apostrophe fer a reason, y’hear? He also created grog, bless Him! Look ye now, whilst I offer an example:

    Excuse me, madam, would you please be so kind as to bring me a spot of rum? I would like to have a drink.

    Begad! any Jack Tar would see ye fer a lubber and a blaggard… I’d try the cat o’nine tails on ye worthless hide! Hark to me words, now –

    Avast! me beauty, fetch me the grog. I be thirstin'!

    how to talk like a pirateArrr, in me many years, I ne’er seen such addled lassies as the likes o’ you, what should meet the rope’s end! I’ll have yer lights and liver if ye don’t rid yerself o’ the useless words. Me time’s precious!

  2. There be no “is”, “you”, “your”, “my” or “mine” in “pirate”! Or be yer deadlights truly dead? Belay that bilge! Use "be" 'stead o' "is", "ye" 'stead o' "you", "yer" 'stead o' "your", and "me" fer both "my" and "mine". In days o’ yore, ye’d be wearin’ the hempen halter fer yer mutinous ways. Luck be with ye today; we be a more forgivin’ lot – let ye be flogged t' smarten ye up!
  3. Pray ye, powder monkey, learn yer sea-farin’ lingo or I’ll lay the Black Spot on ye! What pirate would say “woman” ‘stead o’ wench, or “hello”, not ahoy? A pirate what wants t’ feed the fish, that’s what! Now, be ye a sea dog or a bilge rat? Bucko or blaggard? Learn ye the fine words o’ pirates, trusted fer centuries. Shiver me timbers, ye be requirin’ a list?
    • Ahoy – hello there!
    • Matey – generally friendly thing t' call a person.
    • Hearty – more friendly than ‘matey’.
    • Grog – watered-down rum – aye, a staple of any pirate’s diet!
    • Bilge – the unwanted water collectin’ in yer vessel (weighs ‘er down and needs removin’).
    • Belay – stop it (“belay that ___” means “cut that ____ out”).
    • Hempen halter – the noose!
    • Pieces of eight – silver coins that be worth far less than a doubloon.
    • Doubloon – gold coins… precious currency, this be.

    And fer a fuller appreciation o' pirate vocabulary, this be a treasure-trove of pirate slang.

  4. Acquire a parrot. Worth a few doubloons, IMHO. Lends an air o’ majesty to ye. Aye, commands respect from any scurvy dog, it does, when he hears a parrot repeat yer orders. Why, y’ask? Ye take me fer a professor o’ psychology? A parrot be loyal, steadfast and attentive. Speak up, lad – ye got no doubloons, or e’en pieces o’ eight? Well, ye got a cutlass, don’t ye?! Care not to spill blood, eh, bilge rat? A pox on ye!

If ye be wantin’ to talk like a old sea dog, there be no need for ye t' go havin’ the Davies (and that be no reference t' Ray Davies, ye worthless lubber). Follow me advice, and ye’ll ne’er find yerself feedin’ the fish ('less it be yer beloved goldfish).


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or just say, "arRRrrr!.." and nothing else, hahah!

By Anonymous

Yarr! A fine article, this be.

By Edward Sanders


By Vanessa Raymond

We've been talking like a pirate for a couple years ever since we found out about National Talk Like a Pirate day in September. Thanks for the primer -- we will be even more like a pirate next September!

By Marion Cornett

Everything I ever wanted to know... and more!

By Riley Klein

Wish I'd read this before Talk like a pirate day...

By Anonymous