All you need to know about International Talk Like A Pirate Day

07:00 AM Sep 19, 2021 | Twisha Soni

If you’ve ever wanted to be the “Ruler of the Seas” or be a fearsome pirate like Davy Jones, today is the day! Talk like you would as a pirate in the 1800s, so instead of saying “Hey, guys! what’s up?” to your friends, try saying “Ahoy! Mates. What yer doin’?”

International Talk Like A Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is celebrated worldwide on September 19. What started as a joke between two friends quickly turned into a global celebration after the American columnist Dave Barry wrote a column about it in the Miami Herald.


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How it all began

John Baur and Mark Summers were having a fun game of Squash/Racquetball on June 6 1995, when they randomly started shouting pirate slangs at each other to encourage the other to play better. This spontaneous exchange in pirate lingo had made their game more fun, and time seemed to fly by. This made the duo realise that the world really needed a new national holiday, a Talk Like A Pirate Day! September 19 was chosen since there weren’t any other “days” that were celebrated, and it was also Mark’s ex-wife’s birthday, a day he could easily remember.

For close to seven years, John, Mark, and their friend Brian Rhodes celebrated this among themselves, until they chanced upon Dave Barry’s email address in 2002 and decided to email him asking to share about this say with the world and become the ‘official spokesperson’ for the event. Dave Barry wrote the nationally syndicated humour column for the Miami Herald, and his column on ITLAPD became an instant hit.

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Over the years, ITLAPD has gained much mainstream popularity that internet giants like Google and Facebook have introduced Pirate English as a language on their websites (in the past) to celebrate the day. In fact, you can type “Google Pirate” on the search bar and change the language from normal English to Pirate’s English!

How can you celebrate?

You can hop on to Google and search for Pirate Translators that translate everyday English to English that a pirate would speak. You can send your friends texts like “Wha’ are ye doin’ today?” without any warning, or you can build up sentences by yourself by referring to a pirate glossary online ( Apart from catching on the pirate lingo, you can binge watch some pirate-themed movies, like the Pirates of the Caribbean or even read some books (e.g., Treasure Island, by RL Stevenson). Remember to replace the hey with ahoy!; friend with mate; you with ye; yes with aye and my/mine with me. I hope ye enjoy yer day, mate!

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