All hands hoay! Hoist the Jolly Roger! We will celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day on 19 September! It is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate, aye!
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable items or properties. Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates. The association of pirates with peglegs, parrots, and treasure maps, popularized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island (1883), has had a significant influence on parody pirate culture.
Talk Like a Pirate Day was first only an inside joke between two friends. It gained exposure when Baur and Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry in 2002. Barry liked the idea and promoted the day, and later appeared in a cameo in their “Drunken Sailor” Sing Along A-Go-Go video.
The “patron saint” of Talk Like a Pirate Day is the English actor Robert Newton. He portrayed pirates in several films, most notably Long John Silver in both the 1950 Disney film Treasure Island and the 1954 Australian film Long John Silver, and the title character in the 1952 film Blackbeard the Pirate. Newton was born in Dorset and educated in Cornwall, and it was his native West Country dialect, which he used in his portrayal of Long John Silver and Blackbeard, that some contend is the origin of the standard “pirate accent”.
Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated by dressing as a pirate and talk like one all day. Do not forget to growl or grunt in between your words, and use bad grammar intentionally. You could also hold a pirate-themed party with families and friends. Or read books, watch movies, or play games on pirates. Talk Like a Pirate Day is also celebrated with hidden easter egg features in many games and websites,
If you landlubbers do not celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, you could still share the spirit by learning the history of piracy and famous pirates, so one day you could be a true seadog like Blackbeard and Long Ben. Savvy?
How about you? Tell us your favorite Talk Like a Pirate Day activity, or share your most memorable Talk Like a Pirate Day celebration!