Ahoy! Here Are 13 Phrases to Try on Talk Like a Pirate Day

2 min read

Mark your calendars, mateys! September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Celebrate with a mug of grog and be sure to include some seafaring words and phrases in your conversations.

Let's start with the basics. Get an eye patch and a parrot, and replace "my" with "me" — as in, “me treasure was stolen!” Make sure to drop your "Gs" and ye’ll be on yer way to celebratin’  Talk Like a Pirate Day.


To "hornswoggle" is to cheat or swindle someone out of money or belongings. In other words, a pirate's favorite pastime.

Three Sheets to the Wind

You don't have to be a pirate for this one, just really drunk. With three sheets (sails) flapping in the wind, this means that the pirate is too drunk to handle his ship.


It’s like the "F-word," but for pirates. There are so many definitions for this guttural sound. It can be used to indicate agreement, displeasure, frustration, or joy. "Arrrggghhhh" is probably the most versatile phrase on this list, so shout it out when you don't know what else to say.


Use this pirate-y greeting to say hello to coworkers, family, friends, customers, students, and so on. It adds a definite swashbuckling flair to any conversation.

Shiver Me Timbers

"Shiver me timbers" is an exclamation of surprise, shock, or disbelief. It might be a little corny, but just try to avoid the pirate mindset after shouting this a few times.

Bilge Rat

Looking for an insult to call your enemy? "Bilge rat" should do the trick. The bilge was the lowest part of the ship and held a lot of muck and foul-smelling liquid. A bilge rat lived in the belly of the ship, surrounded by filthy water.

Fiddler’s Green

Fiddler’s Green is pirate heaven, if, of course, a pirate were to make it there. It's a fantastical afterlife that was the stuff of legend among pirates and sailors in the 19th century.  

Davey Jones’ Locker

Not just the name of one of the many "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequels, "Davey Jones' Locker" was the opposite of "Fiddler's Green." This place is the watery grave at the bottom of the ocean for pirates killed or drowned at sea.

Me Hearties

"Me hearties" are your squad, crew, posse, or friends. Treat them to a round of grog and you can say, "Drink up, me hearties!"

Lily-Livered Scurvy Dog

A many-layered insult, this phrase can be loosely translated as "faint-hearted person." There's no room for weak or cowardly members on your crew.

No Prey, No Pay

Never say a pirate has no honor. This idiom was applied to scenarios with nothing to be gained. If there was no ship or person to rob (prey), then pirates didn’t make any money (pay).

Ye Old Salt

Even a pirate has role models. "Ye Old Salt" is what you might teasingly use to refer to an older, more experienced pirate.


No peach emojis here. This one refers to treasure — as in, "gather the booty" or "steal the booty."

Photo credit: Marcus Löfvenberg/ Unsplash

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