If you are looking to dress up like a pirate for the next Halloween or a costume party, you might want to learn some pirate terms and phrases so that you can really get into character.
Pirate Terms and Phrases
If you think that there are only a few pirate terms and phrases to learn, you are absolutely mistaken! After reading this list, you will see that there is quite a bit more to speaking pirate than running around and say "Aargh!"
We have included the pirate phrases, as well as the modern English translation of that phrase.
All hands hoay=Everyone get on the deck
Avast ye=Pay attention
Black spot=Death threat
Dance the hempen jig=To hang someone
Hempen halter=The noose used to hang people
Shiver me timbers=An expression used to show shock or disbelief
Abaft=Back area of the boat
Binnacle=Where the compass is kept on board the ship
Cackle fruit=Chicken eggs
Coaming=A surface that prevented water on the deck from dripping to lower levels of the ship
Duffle=A sailor's belongings
Head=Toilet on board the ship
Holystone=Sandstone that was used to scrub the ships
Jacob's Ladder=Rope ladder that was used to climb aboard ships
Monkey jacket=Short jacket worn by some of those aboard the ship
Orlop=Deck where cables are stored away
Poop deck=Deck that is the highest and farthest back
Crow's nest=The place on the ship where the lookout stand is built
Cutlass=Type of sword used by the pirates
Feed the fish=Meaning that an individual or group of individuals will soon die
Heave ho=Instruction to put some strength into whatever one is doing
Jolly Roger=The famous pirate flag with a skull and crossbones on it
Man-O-War=The name used for a pirate ship that is all set and ready to go to war
Old salt=A sailor that has a great deal of experience on the seas
Privateer=Pirates who are sponsored by the government
Scallywag=A name that is used as an insult to someone
Scuttle=To sink a ship
Seadog=An old sailor or pirate
Shark bait=Going to die soon
Thar she blows!=An expression used when a whale is spotted from the ship
Son of a biscuit eater=An insult
Three sheets to the wind=Someone who is quite drunk
Walk the plank=A punishment which entails someone who walks over the side of the ship off of the plank. Their hands are often tied so that they cannot swim and they drowned.
Yo Ho Ho=There is often used to express some sort of cheer but also can be used to call attention to the speaker.
You might be surprised to see some of the items on this list. In fact, certain expressions have made their way into every day life. For example, people often say "Three sheets to the wind" about a drunk person at a party or they will call a rascal a "scallywag." Learning about how languages blend into each other is extremely interesting.