The change of seasons this week is a time for remembrance and self-reflection, and there’s a holiday nestled into the calendar today marking this pensive transition to autumn. We’re speaking, of course, of Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Why hurl salty insults at your friends and loved ones today like you're a one-eyed raider of the high seas? The intent behind today’s holiday is for young and old alike to enjoy the seafaring dialects that first entered pop culture when "Treasure Island" was published in 1883 and peaked around the time Johnny Depp first appeared in "Pirates of the Caribbean" as Keith Richards’ flamboyant younger brother.
So go ahead and let the child in you swing down from the crow’s nest today and tell your boss he’s a lice-infested bilge rat. Threaten to twist his ears off and tell him he’s not fit to swab your poop deck. It’ll be great. If you’re at a loss for words, try out this Insult-O-Matic translator in Pirate Mode.
"Talk Like A Pirate Day" be celebrated on September 19, 'n would-be buccaneers who'd be tryin' t' natter like a corsair had best learn t' speak th' lingo. If ye reckon that jus' sayin' "arrrr" at th' end o' every utterance will fill yer sails 'n float yer ship, reckon again, landlubber. It'll jus' get ye tossed o'erboard! So don't settle fer bein' an imitation pirate: learn how t' be authentic n' colorful, like a real swashbucklin' scallywag o' th' sea!
- Growl—and scowl—often. Pirates don't use a cultured, elegant, smooth vocalization. They growl, mutter, and scowl, all the better t' rattle yer timbers an' chill ye to th' bone.
- Use pirate lingo. Sounding like a pirate ain't hard t' do. Thar be lots o' fancy tools for picking up pirate lingo, includin' online dictionaries, even iPhone apps. Make use of them. Try to affect a swashbucklin' attitude with your delivery. There be nothin' as unconvincin' as a shy pirate. Avoid using modern epithets (swear words). It's much more colorful (and kid-friendly) to use "pirate slang" for those naughty words, or learn entire creative ways to say the same thing. For example, instead of saying somebody smells like dog droppings, say "Ye smell like ye been swimmin' in the bilge!"
- Gesture with your hands frequently. If ye need t' be drivin' the point home, gesticulate! Don't forget that buccaneers do most of their natterin' on th' deck o' a ship—out on t' ocean, where wind, waves, n' bird calls make it tough t' hear. Gesturing often gives you a sense of "being there." Just be careful wavin' that hook around. Ye could put n' eye out!
- Never ever use "you" or "you're." Instead, use the piratical form, "yer", "ye" or "ya" for all forms of address to others. "Yer a scurvy bilge rat, ya pompous gasbag." or, "Here's yer dinner, ya mangey cockroach." Note that you should always endeavor to call the addressee by some insulting name, usually involving an animal, criminal, or noxious odor.
- Refer to yourself as "me" at all times, never "I." It is not piratically correct to say, "I have a cold." It is far better as a pirate to declare, "Got me a case o'th'sniffles, 'ass rye!" More importantly, substitute "me" for "my." For example, don't say, "Look at my new sword," say "Lookit me new sword!" Also substitute "meself" for "myself" as in "Got meself a right fine ship!"
For more pirate-y tips, visit http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html.