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Questions tagged [pirate-english]

Stereotypical sociolect of English spoken by seafaring pirates

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A word for drain plugs in boats

In row boats, and similar boats, there is a drain plug, which is taken out when it is ashore, to empty for water. In Norwegian the term used is 'nygle', and in Icelandic 'negla'. In contemporary ...
Frode Alfson Bjørdal's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer

When to use "I" + is

Once I saw this sentence in the movie that: I is in charge of the classroom ! Why after "I" did they use is ? Is that a metaphor ? I want to explain my students but could not.
Dante Inferno's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers

In pirate speak, do you say "be ye warned", or "ye be warned"? [closed]

In pirate speak, do you say be ye warned or ye be warned ?
Ben Wilde's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer

What are the many meanings of the suffix -ship and can it reasonably be applied to the end of most all words?

I'm fascinated by the suffix -ship and while it theoretically has no connection to the noun "ship", all definitions provided by Oxford Dictionaries seem to in fact not be terms that would be out of ...
Jesse Ivy's user avatar
  • 510
5 votes
1 answer

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 ...
200_success's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers

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 ...
user1956641's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers

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 ...
tchrist's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers

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 ...
LightStriker's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers

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?
sas's user avatar
  • 191
7 votes
2 answers

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 ...
aedia λ's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers

How did pirates really talk?

In this question we learned that the common portrayal of pirate English is not historically accurate. Given that they were professional sailors, they probably had a wide store of nautical jargon; but ...
Mr. Shiny and New 安宇's user avatar
31 votes
8 answers

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 ...
z7sg Ѫ's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers

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 ...
Matt E. Эллен's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers

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 ...
z7sg Ѫ's user avatar
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24 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Kit Z. Fox's user avatar
  • 27.8k
22 votes
6 answers

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 ...
Kit Z. Fox's user avatar
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12 votes
7 answers

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.
Rabab's user avatar
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244 votes
11 answers

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 ...
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