Backbeard’s Pirate Dictionary

Learn to Talk Like Backbeard

Backbeard posterTo download your free Talk Like a Pirate poster, click one of the links below. (The PDF file is the best choice.)

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Pirate language can be confusing. To help, here’s a free “Talk Like a Pirate” poster and dictionary to get you through the tough spots. (Don’t worry if all the definitions don’t make sense. Half the time Backbeard has no idea what he’s saying, either.)

Backbeard’s Pirate Dictionary

Arrr exclamation : An expression of frustration : “Arrr! I can never remember what letter comes after Q.”

A•vast exclamation : A command to stop or cease : “Avast! We’re about to hit a vast iceberg!”

eyepatchAye exclamation : Yes, definitely : “Aye, I have an eye patch.”

Boom noun : A large pole attached to the mast: “The first mate ducked under the boom but–BOOM!–struck his head on the mizzen.”

Boo•ty noun : Stolen money or treasure : “Lou hid the booty—his loot—in a boot in the loo.”

Buc•can•eer noun : A pirate, especially from the Spanish-American region : “The buccaneer sold the corn for a buck an ear.”

Davey Jones’ Locker noun : A mythical place at the bottom of the sea where pirates go to die : “Even though it was deep under water, Davey Jones’ Locker still smelled like old gym socks.”

feed the fishFeed the fish verb : To die : “The pirate forgot to feed the captain’s fish. Now he’s feeding the fish.”

Free•boot•er noun : A pirate or lawbreaker : “The freebooter didn’t pay for his shoes.”

Gang•way noun : A passage along the deck : “Gangway! The captain’s coming down the gangway.”

Hand•some•ly adverb : To do something well, with great care: “The ugly pirate swabbed the deck handsomely.”

Head noun : The toilet on a ship : “Because too many pirates were using the head incorrectly, the captain renamed it the toilet.”

HeartiesHeart•y noun : A fellow sailor or comrade : “Although they were good guys, the captain’s hearties often gave him heartyburn.”

Heave to verb : To turn the ship so it makes little headway : “These waves are making me sick. Heave to before I heave, too.”

Hogs•head noun : A unit of measure, approx. 64 gallons : “You smell worse than a hogshead of hogs’ heads.”

Jolly Roger noun : A pirate flag of skull and crossbones : “The sight of the Jolly Roger made Roger upset.”

Land•lub•ber noun : Someone who is not comfortable at sea : “Despite weeks on the ship, the landlubber never quite became a sealubber.”

Old salt noun : An experienced sailor : “The old salt passed the pepper.”

Pieces of eightPieces of eight noun : Spanish silver coins : “On the fourth, at five o’clock, six pirates found seven pieces of eight.”

Poop deck noun : The top, rear deck of a ship : “The poop deck was, ironically, the cleanest part of the ship.”

Pri•va•teer noun : A government-authorized pirate : “The privateer shed a private tear when his ship sank.”

Sal•ma•gun•di noun : A traditional dish served aboard pirate ships : “My friend, Sal McGundy, makes great salmagundi.”

Shiver me timbers! exclamation : An expression of shock or annoyance : “Shiver me timbers, this wood is cold!”

Smart•ly adverb : To do something quickly : “The stupid pirate swabbed the deck smartly.”

Spir•its noun : Alcohol, especially liquor : “The bad spirits put the pirate in bad spirits.”

Star•board noun : The right side of a ship : “The sailor stood on the starboard side and drank his port, which was right where he left it.”

Walk the plankWalk the plank verb : Traditional pirate punishment : “The author who wrote the lousy pirate definitions was forced to walk the plank.”