Your Guide to Pirate Slang

Dive into the swashbuckling world of buccaneers with this treasure trove of pirate slang, our guide to the colorful lingo of history's most notorious sea dogs!

Ahoy, mateys, and welcome aboard the Scallywag's Lexicon, where we'll set sail on a linguistic adventure to explore the most popular pirate slang that has graced the lips of seafarers throughout history. From the salty language of the high seas to the colorful phrases that have left their mark on modern English, this blog post will delve into the rich vocabulary of pirates and their captivating lingo.

Join us as we navigate the stormy waters of pirate parlance, unearthing expressions and terms that have their roots in the swashbuckling world of buccaneers and corsairs. We'll explore the origins of these phrases and discover how they've made their way into our everyday language.

From "shiver me timbers" to "avast, ye scurvy dogs," we'll decode the meaning behind these iconic expressions and teach you how to talk like a true pirate, whether you're attending a pirate-themed party or just want to impress your fellow landlubbers with your maritime vocabulary.

So hoist the Jolly Roger, batten down the hatches, and join us on this linguistic treasure hunt as we uncover the most popular pirate slang that has stood the test of time and continues to captivate our imaginations. Anchors aweigh, and let the adventure begin!

30 Real Pirate Slang Phrases

  1. Ahoy: A greeting, similar to "hello" or "hey".
  2. Avast: An exclamation to get someone's attention, like "stop" or "hold up".
  3. Aye: An affirmation or agreement, similar to "yes".
  4. Aye aye: A strong agreement or acknowledgment, like "yes, sir".
  5. Belay: To stop or secure something, often used as a command.
  6. Bilge-Sucking: An insulting expression of disdain.
  7. Blimey: An exclamation of surprise or disbelief.
  8. Booty: Loot, treasure, or stolen goods.
  9. Buccaneer: A pirate, particularly one who plundered Spanish colonies in the Caribbean.
  10. Cackle fruit: A humorous term for eggs.
  11. Cat O'Nine Tails: A whip with nine strands, commonly used for carrying out punishments aboard a naval ship.
  12. Cutlass: A short, curved sword often used by pirates.
  13. Davy Jones' Locker: A mythical place at the bottom of the sea where drowned sailors and pirates go.
  14. Doubloon: A Spanish gold coin, commonly associated with pirate treasure.
  15. Fathom: A unit of measurement used for water depth, equal to six feet.
  16. Grog: A drink made from rum diluted with water, often consumed by pirates.
  17. Hornswaggle: To cheat, deceive, or swindle.
  18. Jolly Roger: The iconic black pirate flag with a white skull and crossbones.
  19. Landlubber: A person with no experience at sea, often used as an insult by pirates.
  20. Man-O-War: A pirate ship that is decked out and prepared for battle
  21. Marooned: To be abandoned on a remote island or shore, often as a form of punishment.
  22. Pieces of eight: Spanish silver coins, another common form of pirate treasure.
  23. Plunder: To steal goods, often by force.
  24. Poop deck: The highest and farthest back deck on a ship.
  25. Privateer: A government-sanctioned pirate, often tasked with attacking enemy ships during wartime.
  26. Scallywag: A mildly derogatory term for a fellow pirate or sailor, usually used in jest.
  27. Shiver me timbers: An exclamation of surprise or disbelief, similar to "well, I'll be" or "good heavens".
  28. Scurvy: A disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, common among sailors and pirates due to a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  29. Swab: To clean or mop, often used as a command to clean the ship's deck.
  30. Walk the plank: A form of execution where a person is forced to walk off a plank extending over the side of a ship, falling into the sea and drowning.

But, What is slang for a pirate?

  • Buccaneer
  • Corsair
  • Freebooter
  • Marauder
  • Raider
  • Swashbuckler


We hope this lexicon of pirate slang will help you converse with your fellow swashbucklers in the appropriate fashion. Until next time, godspeed and fair winds!