While writing dialogue for The Pirate’s Treasure, I searched high and low for the right words and phrases to come spouting out of my bumbling pirate Doyle “Three Swabs” Reed.
What I found is not all pirate dictionaries are equal. So, in order to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate day in pirate-y fashion, here are the three dictionaries I found most useful during my research.
Curated by Careena the Sea Wench, the Pirate Glossary is a collection of phrases, places, famous pirates, ship terms, weaponry, and more.
My favorite is the Namecalling collection because it’s always helpful knowing when a character can call out, “Ye bilge rat!”
Pirate language is demonstrated in this helpful Talk Like a Pirate/What You Ought To Know video by The Brothers Winn.
Brother Winn gives quick suggestions for word replacements, gravely voices, and squinting.
My favorite advice: Get your pirate face right!
3. Pirate Insults
Okay, so this one is technically not a dictionary but a collection of insults you can mix ‘n match to form your own special lingo.
Once I read “Swim with the fishes ye lice infested harbor hog!” I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to have a character use it.
Bonus: The Pirate Primer
blast your eyes [blarrst/blass ya/yarr/ye/yer/yere/yore eye’ ees]
take Talk Like A Pirate Day to an entirely new level.
I don’t actually own a copy of The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues by George Choundas (yet) which is why I can’t completely recommend it.
But I did find the introduction on Amazon helpful and plan to buy the book when I discover more stories for the characters of The Pirate’s Treasure.
So this year, enjoy September 19 the International Talk Like a Pirate day by throwing out your favorite pirate phrase or insult and make sure you practice your pirate face!