Ayyyy, matey. Get your grog on. Smartly. September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and the only defined activity is talking like a pirate (although pirate parties and costumes are encouraged, too).
It all began in 1995 when two buddies in Oregon, John Baur and Mark Summers, started talkin’ like pirates to eachother during a racquetball game. They decided it was fun and a lot of folks could enjoy it (the pirate talkin’ part, not necessarily the racquetball) and designated September 19 as Talk Like A Pirate Day.
But the holiday didn’t really take off until 2002 when they alerted humor columnist Dave Barry to the concept; he wrote about it and created a world-wide buzz about the 24-hour buccaneers. Actually, since Talk Like A Pirate Day lands on a Monday this year, there have no doubt been people rolling their arrrrrrs and swashing their buckles since Friday, at least.
And by the looks of the First Annual International Talk Like A Pirate Day Drunken Sailor Sing-Along, some wanna be pirates and wenches have been into the rum longer than that.
Check it out and and see (and hear) Dave “Bluebarry Beard” Barry, along with a cigarette-smoking hand puppet, beer drinking pig and assorted pirates and their lasses from across the fair land singing, “What do you do with a drunken sailor” (though one group, maybe because it’s National Chicken Month, offered their rendition of, “What do you do with a rubber chicken”).
Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers and John “Ol’ Chumbucket” Baur have written books about your inner pirateness and seem to be having too much fun livin’ the pirate life (in a cartoonish, not cutthroat way).
You can get free ring tones and a free knitting pattern for a pirate queen’s booty bag at their website, which is packed with info and tips like how to pick up a pirate and, of course, how to talk like a pirate.
The two have made YouTube videos including “The Five A’s,” a primer on the five “a” words that will get you into the spirit of the day.
The Great Lakes Connection
If the pirate life’s for you, check out the Great Lakes River Pirates or the Brethren of the Great Lakes. The Brethren have five Pirate Lords—one for each Great Lake—who live by the Pirate Code and promise, “They won’t kill you for your goods or kidnap your children. But these pirates do look for treasures and go on adventures.”
The Brethren of the Great Lakes also host the Michigan Pirate Festival in Grand Haven each August, and will work for doubloons, appearing, speaking or performing at schools and libraries, events or parties dressed in full pirate regalia. Ayyyy….