pirates’ language


All Hands Hoay! – or All Hands on Deck!: it means that everyone on the ship must go on the deck usually for action
Avast – or Avast Ye! from the Dutch term for ‘hold fast’ : it means Stop and pay attention. A similar sentence is Get a load of this.
Black Spot – a black spot or mark on a piece of paper means death
Dance the Hempen Jig – it means to hang, (rope was often made of hemp fibres)
Dungbie – back end
Go on Account – it was a way used by pirates that meant go into business
Hempen Halter- it refers to the hangman’s noose.
Hornswaggle – it means to cheat or defraud, often of money or possessions
Shiver me timbers! – or Blow me down!, is an expression of shock or disbelief
Abaft – it is a word derived from the old English ‘on or to the aft’, toward the back end or stern of the boat
Athwartships – at a right angle to the midline of the boat, which is an imaginary line drawn from bow to stern that equally divides the ship
Binnacle – from the Latin word for ‘dwelling place’, it is a box or case which houses the compass upon the deck.
Cackle Fruit – chicken eggs
Charlie Noble – upon finding that the stack for the ship’s galley was copper, merchant captain Charles Noble then required it to be kept polished, the stack took his name thereafter. Old Salts would kid around with the new recruits and tell them to find or summon Charlie Noble.
Coaming – A vertical rim to keep any water on deck from entering below it,
Duffle – it is everything a sailor possesses , and the nickname for the bag which holds it
Fo’c’s’le – it is an abbreviation for forcastle, the forward most part of the ship
Futtock Shrouds – it refers to pieces joining the rigging of lower and top masts
Head – it is the marine toilet, a hole cut in the decking at the head or bow of the ship
Holystone – these are bars of sandstone used to clean the decks, because when the sailors wash the ship, they kneel as they are praying .

Jacob’s Ladder – it is the rope ladder used to climb aboard the ship
Mizzen – it is the third mast
Monkey – it is a small cannon
Monkey Jacket – a short waist jacket worn by midshipmen
Orlop – the deck for stowing cables
Poop Deck – the deck that is the furthest and the highest back, usually above the Captain’s quarters, NOT to be confused with the head!
Rullock – the cutaway or notch on the side rail of the boat from which oars would pivot
Salmagundi – A popular dish of chopped meat ( beef, fish, chicken, pig, turtle, etc.), eggs, anchovies, onions, grapes, cabbage or herring, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar

CREW
Cockswain –the Captain’s attendant and/or the helmsman
Drivelswigger – one who reads about nautical terms too much
Flibustier- term the French gave pirates of the Golden Age
Freebooter – from the Dutch for ‘free’ and ‘plunder’, reference to a pirate
Jack Tar – early sailor’s clothing was infused with tar, to protect from sword blows and from water, (also Joe Blow or John Q. Public)
Landlubber – ‘lubber’ was an old English word for a big, slow, clumsy person; this term refers to those persons on ship who are not very skilled, as if to say, “You were no better on the land.”
Picaroon – from the Spanish word for rascal,
Powder Monkey – a young pirate, usually a gunner’s assistant

CREW ACTIVITY
Swing the Lead – we throw into the waters a a rope with a weight at the end to measure depth
Take a Caulk – There is oakum and tar on the deck’s gaps were sealed with, and if you slip on them leaves black lines. Someone who is going to rest on deck says he is to “take a caulk”

PIRATE SLANG FOR DRINK
Black Jack – large drinking cups made of leather, stiffer with an application of tar
Bumboo – a drink of the West Indies made with watered rum and flavored with sugar and nutmeg
Grog – derives from the nickname of a British admiral and it is a mix of water and rum; the rum is a cheap antiseptic and it gives flavour to the spoiled water we drink.
Hogshead- a large barrel of alcohol cask holding 63 to 140 gallons.

Pirate Slang for Death-
Davy Jones’s Locker – the imaginary place at the ocean bottom that holds dead sailors and pirates…a reference to death. Davy Jones was said to be an evil spirit lurking at sea, waiting to escort dead sailors or pirates to his place or locker at the bottom of the waters. He went on to have a successful music career with the Monkees many years later.
To be in Davy’s Grip: To be close to death, or frightened.
To have the Davies or the Joneseys: To be frightened
To see you to Davy Jones: To threaten to kill some one

Yargh!
Ahoy
Ahoy is the pirate equivalent of a greeting.
It can also be used in relation to incoming ships.
1) Pirate says: “Ahoy mates!”
2) Pirate says: “Ship ahoy!”
Aye
The pirate equivalent of “yes”, aye can be used in a number is circumstances.
Captain says: “Will you bilge Pirate?”
Pirate says: “Aye, I will!”
Avast!
Literally means “stop,” but it is also a piratey exclamation of surprise.
Pirate says: “Avast! It be the black ship!”
Arrr!
“Arrr” can be used by a pirate in almost any context. It can be used to express a pirate’s approval, as a verbal declaration of his or her anger or sometimes as simply a way to ensure everybody around knows you are a vicious bloodthirsty pirate.
1) Pirate says: “Arrr! This be good grog!”
2) Pirate says: “Arrr! Matey!
Be
“Be” is commonly used by pirates in place of “am,” “are,” or “is.” The past tense of “be” is “were” in singular and plural.

Bilge
The bilge is the very lowest level of a ship and is usually filled with filthy water. One of the puzzles in the game requires pirates to pump this water back out into the sea (making the ship more buoyant and faster.) It is also used to mean nonsense.

Black Spotted
Marked for death. In Puzzle Pirates, black-spotted pirates cannot communicate with others for a certain amount of time.

Booty
Goods and property gotten by force or piracy.

Hornswaggle
To cheat or defraud. Hornswaggling is a common occurrence amongst such dishonest folk as pirates.

Marooned
Abandoned on a deserted island or coast.

Mate
A pirate friend, acquaintance or ally.
Pirate says: “Grab the sails there, mate!”
Me
The pirate equivalent of “my”.
Captain says: “Me fleet is bigger than yers.”
Landlubber
An insult aimed at non-pirates or anyone that does not frequently go to sea.
Pirate says: “Stop ye whining ye yellow bellied, lily-livered landlubber!”
Rigging
The arrangement of masts, spars, and sails on a sailing vessel.

Starboard
The right side of the ship when you are facing toward her prow.

Shiver me timbers!
Used to express surprise.

Ye
The pirate equivalent of “you”.
Pirate says: “Ye won’t get away with this!”
Yer
The pirate equivalent of “your”.
The captain says: “Look lively there if yer bones have any value!”
Other Links

“A Pirate’s Vocabulary” in the Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates docs
Translated phrases
Category: Terminology

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