International Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19 is a day you either love or hate. Perhaps I spent too much time around the young men who worked at Amazon, but I find International Talk Like a Pirate Day very amusing.

Technically, this celebration started in 1995 when two friends John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball. For some reason, they began doing a running commentary of their game in pirate vernacular. On their official Web page, they describe it thus: “By the time our hour on the court was over, we realized that lapsing into pirate lingo had made the game more fun and the time pass more quickly. We decided then and there that what the world really needed was a new national holiday, Talk Like A Pirate Day.”

For several years, only the two men and a few friends celebrated the holiday, but they happened upon Dave Barry’s email address and suggested he should back the day. (If you don’t know Barry, he is a humor columnist for the Miami Herald, who is widely syndicated.) In 2002, Dave Barry wrote a column, which you can read here, and Speak Like a Pirate Day blossomed into the holiday it has become. Today, it is celebrated around the world as a way to raise funds for charity organizations, such as Childhood Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

So how do you celebrate this important day? Obviously by talking like a pirate, with plenty of “arrrs,” and “ahoy mateys,” and other such. Some folks actually dress like pirates today. Or for a lower keyed celebration, watch a pirate-themed movie, or read a pirate-themed book.

So, me hearties, be sure t’ celebrate this day, and natter on like a pirate!

Quotes about pirates

Some pirates achieved immortality by great deeds of cruelty or derring-do. Some achieved immortality by amassing great wealth. But the captain had long ago decided that he would, on the whole, prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.–Terry Pratchett

There was a single blue line of crayon drawn across every wall in the house. What does it mean? I asked. A pirate needs the sight of the sea, he said and then he pulled his eye patch down and turned and sailed away.–Brian Andreas

I’m no longer a child and I still want to be, to live with the pirates. Because I want to live forever in wonder…. That is what the pirates know. There is only seeing and, in order to go to see, one must be a pirate.–Kathy Acker

If England had not used the services of privateers and pirates during its long struggle with Spain, there is some likelihood that people today in North America would be speaking Spanish rather than English.–Robert Earl Lee

First rule of a pirate’s mate, keep yer eye on yer destination, not yer doom.–Lisa Kessler

A very old man once told me a pirate is always chasing after the horizon, fooling himself into believing he can reach it. It might be gold, it might be freedom, it might even be a girl he’s looking to impress. Always it beckons, beautiful and glorious, but no matter how hard a pirate pushes his ship, it remains just out of grasp.–Matt Tomerlin

“Why would you go on a pirate dinner cruise?” He had to know. Her jaw dropped. “Are you kidding me? Why wouldn’t you go on a pirate dinner cruise? There’s pirates and dinner. And you get to say ‘argh’ and ‘matey’ while drinking lots of rum without anyone looking at you funny.” Her breath caught. “Maybe one of them will even have a real parrot!”–Elle Rush

Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.–Mark Twain

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