Avast, mateys, and a happy Talk Like A Pirate Day to all of you land lubbers! Celebrated since June 6, 1995 when the holiday was founded by friends and pirate comrades John Baur and Mark Summers over a game of racquetball, what started as a private celebration over the course of seven years became a phenomenon when they picked a date, and convinced humorist Dave Barry to sponsor them by penning a piece in the Miami Herald about the holiday.
Since then, Talk Like A Pirate Day has been an internationally recognized holiday, dedicated to the indulgence of all things swashbuckling, rum-soaked, and singing with a thousand choruses of parrot companions squawking that “dead men tell no tales!” More importantly…nay, most importantly, it’s a perfect excuse for people all across the world to test their pirate slang!
For example, that healthy “yarrr!” at the top of this story is, in fact, as correct a pirate war cry as “arrrr!” Also, “yarrrrgh!” is another perfectly acceptable version. “Arrrrrgh!” is also right, but as the founders of Talk Like A Pirate Day explain in the FAQ on their website, “arrrrrgh!” sounds more like something a pirate would say “when one sits on a belayin’ pin and no pirate would intentionally do that.” There is also, apparently, an international distinction between “yarrr!” and “yarrrgh!” According to the website, the former is favored more by the British, while the latter is used more by the Dutch.
How will you celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day this year? Will you study the life of legendary buccaneers like Blackbeard, or the female Irish pirate Anne Bonny? How about strapping on a peg leg and perfecting your pirate growl? If those don’t tickle your fancy, check out some pirate film picks, or look around your area to see if any businesses are offering freebies for those daring to talk the talk, or even dress the part. Shiver me timbers!
I don’t know about you, ya chum-sucking scoundrels, but that be soundin’ like a fine pile o’ treasure! Just be sure ye bury it not in the ground, but in yer bellies!
Liz Carlie, the Mad Woman with a Box, a regular book reviewer for SCIFI.radio and a regular guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. She has been in and around science fiction fandom for years, and works with the American Red Cross on blood drives at science fiction conventions all over Southern California.