International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy, mates! Sail ho! Have you not heard . . . there’s an International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and it’s here.

Yes, on one special day every year, otherwise normal people get to dress up like a pirate and practice their best seafaring talk... while not seeming at all weird or out of place.

What does celebrating the history of pirates have to do with driving education? Keep in mind that, in times past, people couldn’t just hop in their car and drive to the supermarket. For long distance travel, they used donkeys, horses, carriages, and ships. Rivers and oceans were the common highways, and boats were the Ferraris and the Mazdas of the past.

Talk Like a Pirate Day is an unusual holiday, and the start of it was even more unusual. Way back in 1995 two guys, John Baur and Mark Summers, were playing ball one day, and to jazz up the game, they started talking back and forth to each other like pirates. There was no rhyme or reason to it – they were just having some fun. Unbeknownst to the world, they decided to make it a national holiday – at least for themselves! In total obscurity, they celebrated it every year on September 19. 

In 2002 they decided to bring their special day to the public eye. They got the word out to a relatively unresponsive public. However, when syndicated writer and columnist Dave Barry got ahold of the idea, he took off with it, and Talk Like a Pirate Day spread around the nation.

The day has become so popular that major chain stores and restaurants get in on the celebration by offering free food and other goodies to those who participate by their pirate-themed speech or dress. 

So, just how does a person talk like a pirate? Although there are words and expressions that people assume were once daily pirate lingo, the reality is far fuzzier. The truth is that no one really knows how pirates spoke – after all, there were no recording devices at that time to leave a permanent record. However, to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day you don’t have to get technical or historical – just have fun imagining what phrases were the most used (and make up the ones history can’t confirm).

Modern-day pirate language is colorful and you can feel free to play around with it. Get creative! Throw in lots of ancient mariner terms, no-longer-used phrases, and plenty of funny-sounding insults. Because rumor has it, pirates weren’t the friendliest of guys.

If you need some help with pirate grammar and phrases, check out this pirate glossary. They’ll even guide you to pick out a pirate name for yourself.

And of course, it’s not just about talking the talk, you also need to "walk the walk". Get your swagger in shape and pull out your eye patch, your parrot (a toy one will do), your swashbuckling hat, and a fake wooden leg. There is some serious fun to be had on September 19!

Weigh anchor and get talkin’ like a pirate on Talk Like a Pirate Day. And then, do what no pirate ever did, share it on social media with the hashtag #TalkLikeAPirateDay.

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