Talk Like a Pirate | The Origins and Meanings of 12 Pirate Words and Expressions

Talk Like a Pirate

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  • We still use Coxswain in the UK, but that’s because we’re not as prudish and puritan as you yanks. Hence we say “cock” instead of “rooster” (a word made up by Americans because “cock” was too rude), “titbit” instead of “tidbit” (ditto) and “sniggered” instead of “snickered”.
    Plus we can see boobs in regular daily papers and have topless women on beaches… yet for some reason WE have the reputation as the prudish ones. What gives?

  • Ahahahaha that made me laugh so hard “Thus, the cock was a vessel used to deliver seamen to fertile soil”

  • In addition to “keel hauling”:
    It probably stems from the Dutch term “kielhalen”.
    “Halen” can mean several things, such as ‘to fetch’, ‘to obtain’ or ‘to heave’.

    So “kielhalen” quite literally means ‘to heave alongside the keel’.

    Nice list by the way. 🙂

  • Coxswain is still used in the US as well… I’ve been in the US Navy for the past 15 years, and it’s been in use since I have been in.

  • The “cock” here is the same meaning that is used for the badminton “shuttlecock”, or “birdie”.

  • Hou vast means hold on(to this), not hold fast

  • Three Squares or Three Square Meals a Day originated from meals being served to pirates or sailors on square wooden plates. Square plates did not move around on ships as much as a round plate would.

  • Keelhauling was in fact intended to cause severe physical damage. Ship hulls were heavily covered with barnacles and other aquatic organisms. When pulled repeatedly back and forth the barnacles ripped into the offenders body, frequently causing death.

  • Admiral Vernon ,known as ‘Old Grog’ for the Grogram cloth coats he favoured instigated the dilution
    of the rum ration with water ,spices and lemon juice.The drink took his name.