Learn How To Talk Like A Pirate With “Scurvy” & More Pirate Phrases

07 February 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Do you hear that? Do you feel that? Hmmm, it seems like there’s something strange going on in the open sea… Well, maybe that’s because legend says cursed pirates sail on this side of the waters, so just beware for no one knows what trouble these sailors could bring. And if you don’t know, it’s considered bad luck to be singing about pirates when you’re out sailing, especially in this kind of strange weather conditions. So yo ho-hush for now.

Okay, enough of the spooky pirate talk and let’s get to know these notorious ship plunderers who sailed the ocean blue. Of course, many of us have been acquainted with pirates because of movies, books, and other things. And from what we know, these fearsome raiders are constantly searching for the next best treasure chest that is filled with precious jewels, gems, silver and gold. However, pirate life on the high seas isn’t really as swashbuckling and daring as Hollywood made it seem to be. In fact, this semi-life of crime caused many injuries and health issues to many buccaneers, which limited their career span including Captain Blackbeard and Bartholomew Roberts. Tragic, isn’t it?

Then, there’s also this specific type of pirate-speak with the “arr” and “ahoy” and “aye.” Usually, when you hear these exclamations, you picture a pirate in your thought bubble. Hate to burst that bubble of yours though, but most scholars believe that both English-speaking pirates and sailors of that era spoke the same lingo. Meaning the “Ahoy, me hearties” greeting was pure fiction and brought to you by Disney. Nevertheless, these interesting pirate phrases have transformed the way we hear pirate talk. And for whatever reason, we have fun using them on random days.

Japanese House
  • Black spot: a death threat
  • Give no quarter: to show no mercy
  • Run a rig: play a trick
  • Swashbuckler: a daredevil
  • Clap of thunder: a very strong alcoholic beverage
  • Old salt: an old sailor
  • Dead men tell no tales: a way to say no survivor must be left alive
  • Scurvy: disgusting
  • Thar She Blows: a whale sighting
  • Landlubber: someone who is not skilled at sea
  • Son of a biscuit eater: an insult
  • Three sheets to the wind: someone who is very drunk