BBC Home
Explore the BBC

CBBC

UK

Last Updated: Tuesday September 19 2006 15:13 GMT

Learn how to talk like a pirate

Pirates in Southampton

Do you know a scallywag from a scurvy dog?

It's National Talk Like a Pirate Day so we thought we'd give you some tips.

Check out our page of pirate words and phrases, along with some rules on how to talk like Captain Jack Sparrow and his pirate friends!

Rules of pirate-speak:

  • Speak in a deep voice
  • Double up your adjectives, which means words you use to describe things. For example, pirates would not say a 'big ship', they would say a 'great, grand ship'.
  • Drop the letter 'g' at the end of a word - for example 'sailing' becomes 'sailin' and 'fighting' becomes 'fightin'
  • Drop the letter 'v' from words - 'never' becomes 'ne'er' and 'over' becomes 'o'er'
  • Pirates always say 'I be' instead of 'I am' and 'You be' instead of 'You are'.

Top pirate words and phrases:

  • Ahoy! - Hello!
  • Avast! - stop there and give me some attention. It can also be an exclamation like 'No way!'
  • Black spot - to be 'placin' the black spot' -- be markin' someone for death
  • Buccaneer - a pirate who be answerin' to no man or government
  • Booty - treasure
  • Cat o' nine tails - whip for floggin' mutineers
  • Davy Jones' Locker - the bottom o' the sea, where the souls of dead men lie
  • Doubloons - pieces of gold
  • Jolly Roger - the skull and crossbones, the pirate flag!
    Pirates in Southampton
  • Keelhaul - a truly vicious punishment where a scurvy dog (see further down) be tied to a rope and dragged along the barnacle-encrusted bottom of a ship - he dies
  • Me hearty - a friend or shipmate
  • Landlubber - someone who does not go to sea
  • Me hearty - a friend or shipmate
  • Pieces o' eight - pieces o' silver which can be cut into eights to be givin' small change
  • Scallywag - a bad person, a scoundrel.
  • Scurvy dog! - a fine insult!
  • Shiver me timbers! - an exclamation of surprise, to be shouted most loud
  • Swashbucklin' - fightin' and carousin' on the high seas!
  • Smartly - to do something quickly
  • Walk the plank - when someone is made to walk off the plank and is left to drown. Lots of people couldn't swim years ago.
  • Yo-ho-ho - pirate laughter


BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy