A French Ship and Barbary Pirates, by Dutch artist,
Aert Anthonisz, 1615
In 1995 the idea of having a day to speak like a swashbuckling pirate began as a joke between several friends. Move ahead seven years to 2002 when Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and columnist, mentioned ITLAPD in his nationally syndicated humor column in The Miami Herald. From that, the joke between the ITLAPD friends has become an international fad.
(click on the ship to go to the ITLAPD official website - caution: the How To Talk Like A Pirate page has a bounty of bawdy word and joke options)
Several years ago when I was toying with the idea of writing a historical romance I visited a Borders bookstore - remember when those were around? - to peruse what was out there in that genre. Like any book, a cover is generally what first draws you in, covers such as:
Henry Every "Long Ben" (English, 1653-unknown)
Sir Henry Morgan (Welsh, 1635-1688)
Francois l'Olonnais (French, 1635-1668)
Sir Francis Drake (English, 1540-1595)
I was surprised to discover that there were many female pirates who spent their lives pillaging and plundering. (However, I did not find any as lovely looking as the lady on the cover of My Lady Pirate, seen above in the slideshow). Here are three of the most famous female pirates:
Mary Read aka Mark Read (English, 1690-1721)
Anne Bonny (Irish, 1700-1782)
Ching Shih (Chinese, 1785-1844)
Anne Bonny Ching Shih
Ahoy, me Hearties! - the same as saying "Hello, my friends!"
Mizzen - third mast from the bow of the ship on ships that have three or more masts
Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! - pull up the anchor and the sail and let's move!
Scuttle - to sink a ship
Poop deck - the part of the ship farthest to the back, which is usually above the captain's quarters. (This is not the bathroom.)
Son of a Biscuit Eater - an insult
Me - My
Ye - You
Avast ye - pay attention
Coxswain - (pronounced kok-sun), the steersman of the ship
Powder monkey - a gunner's assistant
Splice the mainbrace! - give the crew a drink!
Three sheets to the wind - someone who is very drunk. One sheet is mildly drunk and four sheets is pretty much unconscious.