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What is Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Join the Fun on International Talk Like A Pirate Day

AVAST me hearties! It’s that time of year again when the entire world adopts a broad West Country accent in an attempt to talk like a pirate for the day.

Since it was founded little more than a decade ago, Talk Like A Pirate Day has been observed at Pirate theme parties on all five continents of the world (and all seven seas) on September 19th each year.

Talk Like A Pirate Day encourages every ordinary landlubber to release their swashbuckling inner buccaneer and celebrate a bygone life of adventure on the open seas, either by dressing up and attending a Pirate theme party or simply by adopting a classic West Country accent during their normal day’s work.

While the characters celebrated date back to an age when the Caribbean was filled with with ships crewed by ruthless thieves attracted by the prospect of hijacking a Spanish galleon with holds laden with jewels, gold and trinkets from New World colonies and, of course, Pieces of Eight coins.

These marine bandits soon gained international notoriety and the navies of several countries were dispatched to hunt them down.

Their captains’ celebrity was assured following the publication of thrilling tales such as Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” followed by “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.
However it was not until the 20th century that the stereotypical pirate was given a broad West Country accent of England’s Bristol sea port. This happened when actor Robert Newton was cast as Long John Silver in the 1950 film adaptation of the novel and chose a strong Bristol accent for the character.

In recent years the romance of this anarchic life on the high seas has grown in popularity through films such as “Pirates of The Caribbean” and Talk Like A Pirate Day was founded by John Baur and Mark Summers.

The friends, from Oregon in the United States, had joked about speaking like pirates for a whole day after one exclaimed “Arrr” while trying to reach a shot during a game of tennis but this informal joke between friends and their Pirate theme party reached national and then international prominence after they featured in a newspaper column in 2002.

Soon [LINK] were being held on all continents on September 19th (the birthday of Mark Summers’s ex-wife!) and the concept was enthusiastically adopted in the media, with “pirate speak” being heard across the airwaves and seen in print from dozens of celebrities.

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