Pirate Slang - Fun Information for Kids
Updated: Oct 5
If you were to meet a Pirate from the 17th and 18th Centuries today, would you have the foggiest idea what he or she was talking about? Me neither.
That's because Pirates had a very particular dialect filled with 'slang' words and phrases.
If you want to talk like a Pirate, best memorise these starter phrases:
"Ahoy" = This means 'hello'. An excellent way to make the acquaintance of some Pirate chums.
"Ye" = You. Not much difference here to conventional English, it just sounds a bit like you're saying 'you' with a head full of cold and a nose full of snot.
"Weigh anchor" = Basically: let's get going. The Captain want's you to raise the anchor (the big lump of metal on a chain that moors the ship and stops it floating away at night) so you can set sail and begin your journey.
"Avast" = If you say it nice and sweetly this means 'stop and listen to me'. Shout it and it's more like saying 'shut up'. Intonation is everything!
"Aye"/"Yargh" = Simple one: 'Yes'. Never actually say 'Yes' though, other pirates will definitely know you're not a real pirate if you do that.
"Me Hearties" = My friends. Makes sense, as you keep your friends close to your heart, so; 'hearties'.
"Savvy?" = Do you understand? This is probably Jack Sparrow's favourite word. Having watched every Pirates of the Caribbean films in the franchise - yes, even the pants ones - we can exclusively reveal the Jack says 'Savvy' four hundred and eighty two times. FACT.
"Thar she blows" = Look over there. Often linked to a big whale and the sight of their humongous tails crashing onto the waves.
"Shiver me timbers" = gracious good golly that was shocking. Or words to that effect.
If you liked what you just read, why not consider donating to support the blog? It's thanks to awesome people like you that we are able to continue creating content for this History Resource.
Help keep these resources free by donating today! Any amount is greatly appreciated.