Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yo! Ho! Ho!

Next Tuesday 19th September be Talk Like A Pirate Day, i'faith!

D'ye fancy filling your bucket-top boots with grog and dancing a hornpipe, wi'a curse? Then p'rhaps ye'd better be getting in some practice afore the big day. All hands to braces, wi'a wanion, or else damn ye as a bilge-rat landlubber! Knock the weevils out of the ship's biscuits, stick a parrot on your shoulder and say, "Arrr!" and ye could be rewarded with doubloons wi'out stint.

Or else curse ye as a backstay, devil a doubt! Swab the deck or ye'll be feeling a lick o'the cat, or else be clapped in the brig down below in the foetid orlop like some mutinous dog, belike!

And if ye enjoy the world of Jolly Rogers, rum-soaked pirate captains, buried treasure, Black Spots and walking the plank, there's more swashbuckling than ye can shake a cutlass at in The Pyrates by George Macdonald Fraser.

KEYBOARD: For the high-tech pirate

Now on to a tenuously related piece of inanity. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster teaches that it is the diminishing number of pirates that is responsible for global warming. That's not the 'speed boat and AK-47 in the Straits of Malacca' type; only the 'Captain Barbossa' type: the sort of pirate who might be 'disinclined to acquiesce to your request.'

The theory, basically fewer pirates = more global warming, includes as corroborative evidence the fact that in the USA, when Hallowe'en comes round at the end of October and countless thousands of American children walk the streets dressed as pirates, the temperature in the USA drops.

Perhaps we should all do our bit. Talk Like A Pirate and save the planet.

A few helpful definitions:

bucket-top boots
Thigh-length boots beloved by pirate captains. The tops are normally folded down and up again to make the boots knee-length. Hence the 'bucket top'.

A mixture of rum and water.

(Music for a) lively dance for sailors.

wi'a curse
With an expletive.

In advance of, before, or in front of.

hands to braces
Ship's crew to get ready to do some serious pulling on ropes.

A curse that relates to the waning of the moon.

The bottom of the ship and the noisome liquid that collects therein.

A non-sailor.

A beetle that infests ship's biscuits, Stegobium paniceum. Not actually a true weevil. Given the choice, always select the lesser of two weevils.

A gold coin weighing seven grammes. Originally worth two ducats.

wi'out stint

One of a series of ropes that prevent a vessel's mast from falling forwards when under sail.

devil a doubt
An expletive.

swab the deck
Clean the floor.

Cat-o'-nine-tails: a multi-strand whip used to enforce discipline. Hence 'not enough room to swing a cat' when describing my kitchen.

clapped in the brig
Incarcerated quickly and with determination in the ship's prison.

The lowest deck of a three-deck vessel.

Prone to committing mutiny.

A despicable and egregious person, presumably one with a wet nose and a waggly tail.

In this style.

Jolly Roger
The traditional pirate flag, comprising a white skull symbol on a black background.

walking the plank
A Victorian fallacy.

Literally, one who strikes noisily upon a small round shield. Or possibly one who slaps his thigh and cries, "Sa-ha!"

Short, slightly curved broad-bladed sword. Can be held between the teeth when swinging on ropes, but beware of narrow gaps, lest you impersonate a boiled egg.


nzm said...


I have pirate's blood - somewhere in my lineage, I'm related to Bully Hayes!


Gnomad said...

Ah Har! me hearties! Wi a curse an' a wanion! Shiver me timbers! Last one up the old sea dog gets a lick o' the cat! Splice the mainbrace Master Bates and Roger the cabin-boy

erm... just practicing...

(credits to Blackadder and Captain Pugwash)

kaya said...

I say Captain!
So frightfully common all this. Where are my smelling salts.
(deep down inside dying to be slapped on the botty or maybe even with the cat, abd be called yer wench!!)

Grumpy Goat said...

Ahaarrr! More piracy here, accordin' to th' scurvy knave Cap'n Flinn.


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