Talk Like A Pirate Day (Teacher’s Survival Guide)

Talk Like A Pirate Day stickerHere’s what every teacher should know about International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Just knowing about it and being able to mention it in class will give you instant coolness points.

When: September 19

What Is International Talk Like A Pirate Day (ITLAPD)? ITLAPD is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with “Hello,” but with “Ahoy, matey!” The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.

When is Talk Like A Pirate Day? ITLAPD isn’t one o’ those governmentally sanctioned holidays that shifts around… No, the date is ALWAYS Sept. 19!  Now, occasionally Sept. 19 falls on a Sunday, and we recognize that may not meet everyone’s desire for an excuse to party [in which case we recommend Talk Like A Pirate Weekend].

OK, settle this once and for all. Is it “Arrrrrrr,” “Yarrrrr,” “Yarrrrgh” or what? we don’t care how ye say it! Your “Arrr!” should just come from yer heart and yer bowels and be a fully formed expression o’ yer own Pirattitude!

What does “savvy” mean? Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for. For a time after the release of “Pirates of the Caribbean, this was among our most-frequently-asked questions. The dictionary defines “savvy” as “wisdom, understanding.” Used as a question, it can be taken to mean “get it?”

How about “Shiver me timbers”? When the wind blows hard on a wooden ship, the timbers literally rattle. This is a cause for surprise and concern … therefore, “Shiver me timbers” is an expression of surprise.

Where can I find a pirate name generator? There are many links on the ITLAPD official website.

Pirate Lingo: The Basics

Pirate lingo is rich and complicated, sort of like a good stew. There are several other sites that offer glossaries that are pretty good, and you can find some of them on the official ITLAPD links page.

But if you just want a quick fix, a surface gloss, a “pirate patina,” if you will, here are the five basic words that you cannot live without. Master them, and you can face Talk Like a Pirate Day with a smile on your face and a parrot on your shoulder, if that’s your thing.

Ahoy! – “Hello!”

Avast! – Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, “Whoa! Get a load of that!” which today makes it more of a”Check it out” or “No way!” or “Get off!”

Aye! – “Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.”

Aye aye! – “I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over.”

Arrr! – This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. “Arrr!” can mean, variously, “yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” “I’m enjoying this beer,” “My team is going to win it all,” “I saw that television show, it sucked!” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.” And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

For more information, visit the official ITLAPD website.

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