Ahoy! Look ye off the stern, port-side! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2009 and it’s fast approaching! But how can you stand out among all the scurvy jerkwaters wearing ripped pajamas and spouting bad renditions of Jack Sparrow quotes on September 19th? One way is to dazzle your crewmates (and that hot wench down the way) by using authentic pirate quotes from the history of piracy’s golden age.
So if you’re sick of hearing “YARRR!” over and over again every September, class up your Talk Like a Pirate Day shtick with some historical accuracy.
How historically accurate are the following quotes? Well, I make no claims to knowing whether real pirates really said these things 300 years ago-nobody can know for sure. Even many of the “primary sources” we have for pirate facts were largely steeped in mysticism and romance. (But hey, that’s why pirates are so awesome in the first place.) So ask ye not whether these spoken treasures be not but fool’s gold, or ye’ll find yeself with a belly full o’ hot lead! Just know that everything below has at least some basis in history.
Real Blackbeard (Edward Teach) Quotes for International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Edward “Blackbeard” Teach was not only one of the most fearsome and memorable of the pirates, he is also the source of some of the best firsthand accounts of memorable spoken pirate quotes. Plus he liked to say “damn” a lot, which is awesome.
“Damn you villains, who are you? And from whence came you?” – appropriate as a greeting when you walk in to work or class on the morning of International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
“Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.” – appropriate if some nerd asks you to stay the night at his house, or asks to stay over at yours.
Real “Black” Sam Bellamy Quotes for International Talk Like a Pirate Day
“Black” Sam Bellamy, while not as awesome as Blackbeard, also liked to use the word “damn”, making him similarly awesome. He was just quite a bit more long-winded than the average pirate captain, making his quotes more difficult to pull off.
“Damn my blood… I scorn to do anyone a mischief, when it is not for my advantage.” – not just a good pirate quote, but words to live by.
“Damn ye, you are a sneaking puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security.” – good for chastising jerks who sell out to the man.
“Damn ye altogether: damn them for a pack of crafty rascals, and you, who serve them, for a parcel of hen-hearted numbskulls. They vilify us, the scoundrels do, when there is only this difference, they rob the poor under the cover of law, forsooth, and we plunder the rich under protection of our own courage; had you not better make one of us, than sneak after the asses of those villains for employment?” – good for further chastising jerks who sell out to the man.
“I am a free prince, and I have as much authority to make war on the whole world, as he who has a hundred sail of ships at sea and an army of 100,000 men in the field; and this my conscience tells me; but there is no arguing with such sniveling puppies, who allow superiors to kick them about deck at pleasure; and pin their faith upon a pimp of a parson; a squab, who neither practices nor believes what he puts upon the chuckle-headed fools he preaches to.” – for when the jerks keep selling out to the man and just won’t listen.
Real Anne Bonny and Mary Read Quotes for International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Anne Bonny and Mary Read were lady pirates who sailed with “Calico” Jack Rackham (who was perhaps best known for his fierce skull-and-sabers flag, which was stolen by Disney and Johnny Depp generations later.) All three were captured during a rum party (Jack and his male friends hid in the hold while Anne and Mary stayed above-deck to fight the law) and a complete transcript of the piracy trials exists, providing a handful of pirate quotes for the more estrogen-oriented buccaneer.
“I am sorry to see you here, but if you had fought like a man, you needn’t be hanged like a dog.” – (Anne Bonny) – good for if your boyfriend locks himself in the car and leaves you outside to fight a cop.
“As to hanging, it is no great hardship. For were it not for that, every cowardly fellow would turn pirate and so unfit the sea, that men of courage must starve.” – (Mary Read) – good for sticking it to the man one last time if you happen to have the death penalty carried out upon you on International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
“I plead my belly.” – a valid plea for pregnant women on trial in the time of piracy was to “plead the belly.” Anne and Mary both did this at their trials.
And if you run out of awesome pirate quotes to use on September 19th, just chug a bottle of dark rum and speak from ye merry heart. Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!
Special thanks to BrainyQuote, Pirate Shipwrecks, Everything2 and PirateMaster for research and/or validation of stuff I thought I knew already but wasn’t really sure. Also special thanks to Barcadi.