Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th!

 

 

What Are Pirates?

Argh mateys! Our favorite day is just around the corner and we are planning a Piratey Facebook Party on the 19th and the treasure chest is overflowing with goodies to hand out!  What do you picture when you hear the word pirate?  It just might be a scary looking, sea-crusted sailor with an eye patch covering one eye sailing the high seas in search of a merchant vessel they can attack in hopes of collecting serious pirate booty such as gold, silver, jewels, and riches.  This is partly true  as the term pirate means “robber of the sea,” and someone whose life purpose is to attack and take things from other ships.

A life of piracy was attractive for those seeking adventure and provided an opportunity to acquire riches.  Some governments hired pirates to raid enemy ships and some were former government sailors who traded in a strict lifestyle for one of freedom.  The pirate life has fascinated people for hundreds of years!   (Source: The Big Book of Pirates). I know I have always been intrigued by pirates – as a kid my favorite ride at Disneyland was Pirates of the Caribbean and I have to say it still is my favorite. 

Where Did Pirates Plunder?

Pirates have been plundering the seas for thousands of years, dating back to when ships were first built for transporting and trading goods.  Even the great ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome were concerned about pirates attacking their ships and stealing their valuable goods such as wine, wheat, and olive oil.  Pirates have plundered most of the worlds seas and today one of the most popular places for piracy is the South China Sea.  During the Golden Age of Piracy, they were most active in the Caribbean.  (Source: the Big Book of Pirates).

Women Pirates

Some of the most famous women pirates include Cheng I Sao, or Madame Cheng, who raided the South China Seas and the Pearl River Delta.  She gathered together  various pirate gangs in that region and built an impressive 2,000 ship pirate fleet with thousands of men and women under her command.   Mary Read was another famous pirate who kept her secret by dressing and acting as a man.  Rumors have it she  fought as tough as any of her mates.  She later fought side by side with another another female pirate, Anne Bonny who also kept her sex a secret.  And we can’t forget Grace O’Malley, the sixteenth-century Irish woman who provoked awe, anger, admiration and fear in the English men who came to conquer the land of her birth.  She was a shrewd businesswoman and skillfully practiced the craft of piracy and plundering and led rebellions against the invading English (Source: Ireland’s Pirate Queen).   I would really recommend this book by Anne Chambers as it is the true story of Grace O’Malley and quite fascinating! And then we have fun-loving Penelope who likes to have adventures with her friends!  She is what many would consider a “nice” pirate who teaches little ones the importance of treating others with kindness and respect.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

This fun “holiday” was started by John Baur and Mark Summers on June 6, 1995 to be exact.  They were playing racquetball and started to goof around and giving each other encouragement via pirate slang.   They realized after the game that launching into pirate slang had made the game more enjoyable.  They decided that the world would be a better place if Talk Like a Pirate Day became a new national holiday and decided on one of the ex-wife’s birthday, September 19th to be the day.  Fast forward to 2002, and John decided to contact Dave Barry, the famous syndicated columnists and author of several books.  Mr. Barry thought it was a hysterical day to celebrate and wrote a column about it in the Miami Herald.  This was the start of it all according to John and Mark. 

Now people around the world to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day in various ways.  We are celebrating ours with a Facebook Party on September 19th.  Details of where the event will take place and what goodies will be handed out coming soon!

References:

Tessaro, Chuck., The Big Book of Pirates, Courage Books by Running Press. 2004.

Chambers, Anne., Ireland’s Pirate Queen, MJF Books 1998,2003

International Talk Like a Pirate website: www.talklikeapirate.com

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