Questions tagged [pirate-english]

Stereotypical sociolect of English spoken by seafaring pirates

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236
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
20k 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
7answers
6k 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
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
441 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

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 ...