Stereotypical sociolect of English spoken by seafaring pirates

learn more… | top users | synonyms

156
votes
8answers
7k views

What is the factual basis for “pirate speech”? (Did pirates really say things like “shiver me timbers”?)

The "pirate speech" we hear/see/read, for example, on the website Talk Like A Pirate Day consists of a rhotic dialect characterized by phrases like "shiver me timbers," "ooh arh me hearties," and so ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

What does “yo-ho-ho” mean?

The pirate song “Fifteen Men on a Dead Man’s Chest” from Treasure Island contains the expression yo-ho-ho. Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest— Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Etymology of the phrase “Shiver my timbers”

I've been trying to search for the origin and meaning of the phrase "Shiver my timbers", but can't seem to find anything.
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How did pirates really talk?

In this question we learned that pirates did not really talk how they are commonly portrayed. Given that they were professional sailors, they probably had a wide store of nautical jargon; but what ...