September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. You don’t want to look like an idiot do you? Here are some pirate words and phrases.
Monkey. A small, ship-mounted cannon. (Not to be confused with an actual monkey, which may also be found on a pirate ship.)
Duffle. A sailor’s personal effects.
Hempen halter. Ropes were made of hemp, so a noose used to hang an enemy was a “hempen halter.”
Dance the hempen jig. Hanging an enemy.
Black spot. A death threat.
The Davies. “Davey Jones’ locker” refers to the state of death, at the bottom of the sea. When a black spot arises and the idea of sailing under to Davy Jones’ locker was a possibility, a pirate would be reasonably quite afraid, or “have the Davies” or “have the Jonesies.”
Rumfustian. A pirate breakfast of raw eggs, beer, and any hard liquor onboard.
Arrack. An alcoholic drink made from fermented fruit, molasses, or palm sap.
Black jack. A drinking cup for arrack. They were made out of leather and tar.
Splice the mainbrace. A command to give the crew a bit of arrack.
Avast ye! “Pay attention!”
All hands hoay. A command for the crew to get onto deck.
Blow the man down. A command to kill an enemy.
Drivelswigger. A new pirate who spends two much time trying to learn and then use nautical terms.
Cleave him to the brisket. To slice an enemy with a pirate cutlass, across the chest from one shoulder down to the abdomen.
Old salt. An old pirate.
Seadog. An old pirate.