Stereotypical sociolect of English spoken by seafaring pirates

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156
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8answers
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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 ...
23
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8answers
9k views

What does “up she rises” mean in the sea shanty “Drunken Sailor”?

It's early in the morning, so perhaps the sailor in question is rousing from his drunken stupor. But sailors were traditionally all men, so why "up she rises"? Is the sailor being mocked, or does it ...
21
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9answers
5k views

Does “yar” (or “yarr” or “yargh”) in Pirate English imply an affirmative?

In honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I’d like to ask a question about the pirate dialect of English. Most pirate sentences begin with a standard pirate-sounding hedge to lend ...
16
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6answers
10k views

Distinction between “pillage” and “plunder”

Both pillage and plunder refer to the taking of goods by force. What is the distinction in how the two words are used? Specifically, (due to a recent argument) do pirates only plunder, or can they ...
12
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3answers
5k 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
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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.
8
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2answers
1k views

How did “hearties” come to mean “shipmates”?

Typically I find hearty to be used as an adjective, for example: Thank you for this hearty meal He gave a hearty laugh The definition for which can be found in any dictionary and can mean things ...
7
votes
4answers
568 views

Why “me” instead of “my” in pirate speech?

I don’t understand the usage in constructions like “Spare meself, me ship, me crew” in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Is it a dialect or “bloody pirate’s speech” or what?
7
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2answers
711 views

How did “tot” come to mean a measure or ration?

How did tot, A measure of spirits, especially rum. get that meaning? It seems to have come to mean a specific ration, as in the daily tot of rum given to a sailor in the Royal Navy (well, no ...
7
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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 ...
5
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2answers
2k views

When did we start naming our dogs Rover, and why?

One stereotypical name for a dog is Fido, from the Latin for faithful. Another stereotypical dog-name is Rover. How long has Rover been a common name for a dog in English? Does it have anything to ...
4
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1answer
66 views

Uncertain whether pirate talk be authentically or mockingly archaic

@ZhanlongZheng asked the following question on ELL: Barbosa: I defended her mightily enough, but she be sunk nonetheless. Jack Sparrow: If that ship be sunk properly, you should be ...
3
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2answers
707 views

English for “À l’abordage!”?

Basically, pirates would use the term À l’abordage! as a battle cry when boarding enemy ships like described in the phrase’s Wiktionary entry. Is there a English translation for this, or is it an ...
-1
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2answers
108 views

What does a phrase “Plunder for all!” mean? [closed]

A fleet of ships is going to attack other fleet and on the meeting of capitans of the ships from first fleet one capitan tells "Plunder for all!". What does that mean? Added I've looked plunder in ...