jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 2018

The world I explore never fails to amaze me. Something that I learned this week is that I missed “Talk Like A Pirate Day” on 9th September.

I can’t believe there is a “Talk Like A Pirate Day”, even more I can’t believe I have missed it. And I’ve missed it for thirteen years.

So what is “Talk Like A Pirate Day” all about? I’ll tell you, a day when you spend the whole day talking like a pirate.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day:

Date:                      September 19

Next time              September 19, 2019

Frequency             Annual

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD, September 19) is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. An observer of this holiday would greet friends not with “Hello, everyone!” but with “Ahoy, maties!” or “Ahoy, me hearties!”. The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.


According to Summers, the day is the only known holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury. During a racquetball game between Summers and Baur, one of them reacted to the pain with an outburst of “Aaarrr!”, and the idea was born. That game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for the observance of the Normandy landings, they chose Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, as it would be easy for him to remember.

At first an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when Baur and Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humour columnist Dave Barry in 2002. Barry liked the idea and pro­moted the day, and later appeared in a cameo in their “Drunken Sailor” Sing Along A-Go-Go video. Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry’s column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally, and Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts related to the theme on their website. Part of the success for the international spread of the holiday has been attrib­uted to non-restriction of the idea or non-trademarking, in effect opening the holiday to creativity and “viral” growth.

The association of pirates with peglegs, parrots, and treasure maps, popularized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island (1883), has had a significant influence on parody pirate culture. Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated with hidden Easter egg features in many games and websites, with Facebook introducing a pirate translated version of its website on Talk Like a Pirate Day 2008 and publisher O’Reilly discounting books on the R programming language to celebrate. In September 2014, Reddit added a pirate theme to their website.

English actor Robert Newton is the “patron saint” of Talk Like a Pirate Day. He portrayed pirates in several films, most notably Long John Silver in both the 1950 Disney film Treasure Island and the 1954 Australian film Long John Silver, and the title character in the 1952 film Blackbeard the Pirate. Newton was born in Dorset and educated in Corn­wall, and it was his native West Country dialect, which he used in his portrayal of Long John Silver and Blackbeard, that some contend is the origin of the standard “pirate accent”. This was parodied in the 1950s and 1960s by British comedian Tony Hancock.

The archetypal pirate word “Arrr!” (alternatively “Rrrr!” or “Yarrr!”), which in West Country parlance means “yes”, first appeared in fiction as early as 1934 in the film Treasure Island starring Lionel Barrymore, and was used by a character in the 1940 novel Adam Penfeather, Buccaneer by Jeffery Farnol. However, it was Robert Newton’s use of it in the classic 1950 Disney film Treasure Island that popularized the interjection and made it widely remembered. It has been speculated that the rolling “rrr”, a distinctive element of the speech of the West Country of England, has been associated with pirates because of the West Country’s strong maritime heritage, where for many centuries fishing was the main industry (and smuggling a major unofficial one), and where there were several major ports. As a result, West Country speech in general, and Cornish speech in particular, may have been a major influence on a generalized British nautical speech.

Official acknowledgment

The US state of Michigan has officially recognized the occasion.

Krispy Kreme gave out free doughnuts to people who talk and/or dress like pirates on September 19, as of 2017, they have stopped giving out free donuts. Long John Silver’s has a similar promotion.

Google Search and Facebook both have the option to choose “Pirate” as a language choice.

Antivirus provider Avast Software has, since 2011, permitted users to select “Pirate Talk” as a language option.

The option was added on International Talk Like a Pirate Day of that year.

In 2006, it was described as a holiday for members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion.

World of Warcraft also holds an event with special achievements for the holiday.

If the 2004 version of Sid Meier’s Pirates! is played on September 19, the in-game dialogue will contain pirate speech.

On January 5, 2012, Minecraft added a “Pirate Speak” language option with many humorous word choices.

In 2018, Microsoft celebrated by making a pirate ship the image of the day on Bing, with the text “Arrr! Shiver me timbers! And so on!”

The Sims 4 includes “Talk Like a Pirate Day” as a holiday in its fourth expansion, Seasons, with renamed social and object interactions.

Every day is a day promoting some cause nationally or internationally: Check out Blog of the Day – DAYS


If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.  —  Marc Chagall


Happiness is…talking like a pirate


The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider doing it – Joan Rivers


Love is…sensational


We Love the Pirate Stations – Roaring 60s

Highest Chart Position: Released August 1966 Did not chart



©2018 Phil M Robinson & jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk