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Talk Like a Pirate Part II: All My Duty to You

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Welcome back to The Southerly Blog. We’re back this time with the second part of our Talk Like a Pirate Day topic. We hope you took the opportunity to watch some pirate-themed movies in the last couple of weeks. This time around we’re going to share the down-low for being up on pirate-speak just in time for the 19th, which is of course the day to heave ahead with piratical vernacular.

Pirate Speak Made Easy

Some definitions will make it easy to throw around piratical terms like a pro. Here are some to get you started:

  • Pirate — One who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation; the opposite of a privateer.

  • Privateer — A sailor with a letter of marque from a government. Technically, a privateer was a self-employed soldier paid only by what he plundered from an enemy. In this, a privateer was supposed to be above being tried for piracy. A privateer is theoretically a law-abiding combatant and entitled to be treated as an honorable prisoner if captured. Most often, privateers were a higher class of criminal, though many became pirates.

  • Buccaneer — A pirate, especially one of the freebooters who preyed on Spanish shipping in the West Indies during the 17th century. The buccaneers were first hunters of pigs and cattle on the islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga, but were driven off by the Spanish and turned to piracy. Buccaneers were said to be heavy drinking, cruel pirates.

Greeting and parting phrases are half the battle when it comes to speaking like a pirate, so we’ll share a few to help you start (or end) a conversation, along with their meanings which are summarized from The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers & Rogues.

All my duty to you.

I give you my respects/my best

How fares your day?

How is your day going?


Speak me your tidings

Tell me how you are doing


Here’s luck and a fair wind to you.

Greeting and parting

Talking like a pirate takes a bit of practice, but with the right terminology at your fingertips, you can be a pro in no time. In addition to what we’ve already shared, we found this Pirate Glossary to give you a foot up in preparation for the big day. We bet you’ll learn things about pirates, ships, and the seven seas that you didn’t know before. Thanks for taking time to read our post today. May fortune be with you and yours.