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Arrrrrrr you ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day?

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Avast! Hoist the Jolly Roger! Polish your pegleg!

Today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, a day when the land-lubbin' laws o' grammar are banished to Davy Jones' Locker, and the syntax of the seas rules all.

This hardy holiday has been afloat since 1995, when a pair o' crusty Corsairs named John Baur and Mark Summers — or, as they're known in pirate parlance, Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket — decided, on a whim, to start speakin' in the language of the briny deep. Columnist Dave Barry got wind o' the quirky tradition in 2002, and Talk Like a Pirate Day has been a phenomenon ever since.

Odds are if you've dropped anchor in Tampa Bay for any length of time, you're familiar with pirate customs and culture — Cap'n Jose Gaspar's ghost looms tall in these waters — but if you don't want to sound like a lubber, take to your chest the following terms:

Keel-haul. As in, "Let's drop off after work to keel-haul a few PBR tall boys." Or, "Thanks a lot, Lehman Brothers, my portfolio has really taken a good keel-hauling this week."

Bilge rat. An insult of the highest magnitude: "The Rays will keel-haul those bilge rats from Boston in the playoffs!"

Lubber. A bilge rat who refuses to participate in International Talk Like a Pirate Day: "Them lubbers at the counter told me to hit the gangplank when I brought me parrot into Dunkin' Donuts."

Ahoy!, Avast! and Aye! Use these words as often as you can, no matter the context.

Arrrrrrr! No explanation necessary. Arrrrrrr!

Lookin' for a pub where ye can hoist a few flagons of grog with your fellow buccaneers and wenches? Point your sails to the Friendly Fisherman at John's Pass in Madeira Beach, where a host of scurvy scalliwags will be enjoyin' rum specials, hand-rolled cigars and pirate songs from 7 to 11 p.m.

"It's bizarre how they came up with an actual holiday out of it," said restaurant manager Suzanne King, who'll be celebratin' Talk Like a Pirate Day for the first time. "But I know a lot of people in the pirate community, so I think we're going to have a really good turnout."

Call (727) 391-6025 for more info. And tell 'em Blackbeard sent ye.

More "International Talk Like a ..."
days we'd like to see

• International Talk Like a Zombie Day Because pirates are so 2006. Braaaaaains!

• International Talk Like an Old-Timey Prospector Day Both the Walter Huston and Daniel Day-Lewis versions will be accepted.

• International Talk Like Robert Evans Day The year was 1995. The movie? Jade. Davey Caruso's neck-deep in boob-tube contract hell and tells me he just can't fit the pic into his day-to-day. "Davey, baby," I said. "It's the role of a lifetime. Come spend a weekend at my villa up in Big Sur; we'll can this beef in two shakes flat." Two days of back-and-forth and a case of shiraz later, bammo — Bobby's got a name for the poster. The rest is Tinseltown history.

• International Talk Like a Diablo Cody Screenplay Day Wipe the status quo off your Facebook, friendo, and tie your tonsils around this linguistic lolly. Fake it if you can't shake 'n' bake it. (Bonus points if spoken into a hamburger phone.)

• International Talk Like a L33T Day 5h0w @11 the n00bz in yr 0ff1ce wh0'z RLY the k1n6 of 633k 5p3@k. w00t!

• International Talk Like Suede from Project Runway Day Suede would love to see a day paying tribute to Suede. Suede thinks Suede's time has come.

• International Talk Like a LOLcat Day I can haz holiday? Bukkits n cheezburgers for all!!!!!1!!

Arrrrrrr you ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day? 09/18/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 20, 2008 11:06pm]

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