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Arrrr! Today Is Talk Like A Pirate Day! Brush Up On Yer Pirate Lingo, Me Mateys!


Arrrrrr, me mateys! Did you know that today is the official International Talk Like A Pirate Day? Avast! And gather a grog or two and brush up on pirate life from our friends at

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!

We have some basic and advanced pirate lingo below.

Check out the Pirate Day’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Even the Library of Congress has gotten in on the pirate action.

OK, time for Pirate 101, courtesy of

Basic lingo

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,"  and "That was a clever remark you or I just made."

Now that we have the basics out of the way, we can move on to advanced lessons.

Beauty – The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty.”

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.

Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water.

Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do.

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.

Smartly – Do something quickly. On Talk Like a Pirate Day, you could say:Smartly, me lass,” when you ask the female bartender for another grog.

Brush up on even more pirate life here.

And, me mateys, here’s a pirate song to serenade you:

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.