Lifestyle & Belief

Batten the hatches: International Talk Like a Pirate Day takes place around the world


This is a scene from the "lepers boat" in The Pirates! Band of Misfits.


Aardman Animation

Noticing more pirates than usual in your forays around the Internets? You're not descending into schizophrenia: it's just International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Every Sept. 19. 

Talk Like a Pirate Day originated in the heady days of the early 2000s, when Pirates of The Caribbean had just come out and everyone thought imitating Captain Jack Sparrow was a really cool thing to do. At least if they were under 30. 

Pirates themselves soon became a fad, and leather skirts, cutlasses, and exotic parrot sales began to noticably rise. It was almost as big as ninjas.

In fact, the mere concept of pirates fighting ninjas in unholy, temporally-and-geographically-impossible deathmatch became popular too. (You know this if you have walked into a Hot Topic outlet anytime between 2002 and last week.)

It was into this pirate-demanding void that the founders of Talk Like A Pirate Day made the public debut of their brand-new holiday, which they had been privately celebrating all the way back in 1995.

The founders emailed beloved humor columnist Dave Barry, who graciously decided to promote the idea in his Miami Herald newspaper column. In what are now very prescient words, Barry wrote:

"Join us on Sept. 19. You HAVE the buckles, darn it: Don't be afraid to swash them! Let's make this into a grass-roots movement that sweeps the nation, like campaign-finance reform, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I truly think this idea could bring us, as a nation, closer together."

Little did he know. 

Read more: Pirate Personality Index

So why exactly would one participate in this holiday, when they could be speaking normally instead?

I'll allow the founders themselves to explain this curious social phenomonon, via their website: "Talking like a pirate is fun. It's really that simple. It adds a zest, a swagger, to your every day conversation. Do you need another reason?

Try it out. Let go, have a beer, burp in public. Say "Aarrr!!" Feels good, doesn't it?"

Oh, it does. It does. Where the hell did I leave my macaw?  Where would I have left a macaw?

Read more: How to talk like a pirate, an essential primer

For 2012's Talk Like a Pirate Day's solemn international observation, Reddit is decked out, Google is not (for shame), and Facebook offers the always-popular option of Pirate English if you're feeling especially festive. 

The best part of this years celebration? Krispy Kreme is handing out free donuts for everyone who talks like a pirate at them. It's like Christmas, with a bit more high-seas murder. 

One can only speculate if Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg is celebrating too. I'm guessing not. Though the German Pirate Party very well may be. It is also highly unlikely that Somali pirates are getting into the spirit of things either, although they may be engaging in actual pirating as we speak. 

Here's the First Annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day Singalong. I really hope you have a high tolerance for repetitive sea shanty.