How To: Celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Avast, me hearties: tomorrow be International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Ye savvy?

If you didn’t understand the previous sentence, then you’re woefully unprepared for The Guys’ favorite day of the year. Every September 19th, the world takes a breather from the Queen’s English and says, “You know what? I’m tired of this whack modern inflection, yo. Let’s kick it old school, son–Elizabeth I-style!”

The last thing we’d want is for a SeriouslyGuys reader to look like a chump at work or school tomorrow, so we’ve put together this guide on how to celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day.


  • Eye patch
  • Bandana
  • Gravelly voice
  • Prosthetics

1) Learn the lingo.
The nice part about talking like a pirate is that you pretty much talk the same, only with a funny voice and some new vocabulary. You can pick up the majority here, here and here.

Our personal favorites include:

cockswain: the guy who rows the Captain’s longboat to the shore and back, also used for the helmsman; currently used because it sounds like you just called someone something particularly nasty.

keelhaul: a form of punishment in which a pirate was dragged from on side of the ship to the other underwater, resulting in near drowning and cuts from barnacles.

deadlights: your eyes, one of which is most likely gone or behind an eye patch.

grog: water-diluted rum and anything else that was available and mildly drinkable.

bung hole: the opening on a food barrel; obviously, if food is stored inside of you, there’s only one likely hole it will exit out of (hence the modern definition).

2) Use the proper syntax.
Alright, if you’re going to appropriate someone else’s vocabulary, the last thing you want is to sound like a douche ordering Taco Bell (“I would like un taco, please?”). This isn’t Vietnam; there are rules of syntax.

First off, there is no “is,” nor is there an “are.” Everything just be. So, make like Paul McCartney and just let it be.

Example: There be bilge rats in ye bung hole.

Second, this day isn’t about “you.” It’s about ye. Also, there’s no “my” or “mine,” just me.

Example: Did ye drink the last of me grog, ye lubber?!

Third, double up on those adjectives. Just like William Butler Yeats, pirates were well-known in their day for their love of verbal imagery. (OK, we don’t really know why.)

Example: That be a smart fine bonnet ye be wearin’, me boxom beauty.

Finally, address your sentences. The best part of ITLAPD is that it’s the only day of the year that you’re expected to call your friends a “squiffy jack o’ wenches.”

3) Sound like a native speaker.
What ruins every good movie? Horrible fake accents (Kevin Costner). So, you need to sound as authentic as possible to prevent looking like the aft end of a lubber.

To get the right gravelly sound, spend tonight at a rock show and talk to everyone. Shout the lyrics along with every song. Scream every time the drummer throws a stick at you to shut up.

Next, smoke a pack of cigarettes. Marijuana would also do the trick if it wasn’t illegal (just sayin’).

Feel free to drink anything you want … so long as it’s whiskey. This will heal any open sores in your throat, but not sacrifice any sound effects.

Now, think of any British person who’s not Orlando Bloom and try to impersonate them.

4) Dress for the occasion.
Nothing will endear you to your peers–or convince your boss to send you on more business trips-more than dressing up for the day. Fortunately, ITALPD falls on a Friday this year, which is perfect because the wardrobe of a buccaneer is business casual:

  • Collared shirt (the puffier, the better)
  • Slacks
  • Non-white socks
  • Boots or leather shoes
  • Plenty of jewelry

From there, you choose your own level of involvement, just like any good pyramid scheme. (Recruit three salty dogs to get your bosun’s pin!)

If you’re just looking to land that big contract, we suggest a Captain’s hat. It has three corners, which represent stability, and it lets everyone in the boardroom know that you are a person who gets things done.

However, if you want to dedicate your life to the elementary school lecture circuit, you should consider losing a limb. Robot arms are the most advanced field of prosthetic medical science right now, so that’s the safe way to go. More adventurous cosplayers swashbucklers may consider leg amputation or eye removal.

For those crafters out there: This is also the perfect opportunity to try out complex facial hairstyles. Just shave creatively, braid, and add bows and gunpowder fuses where appropriate.

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