September 19, 2006
Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Celebrate by... um... talking like a pirate.
You could either use the fictional pirate phrases like "Avast, there!" and "Shiver me timbers!", or you could take note from the way actual pirates spoke:
Lift the skin up, and put into the bunt the slack of the clews (not too taut), the leech and foot-rope, and body of the sail; being careful not to let it get forward under or hang down abaft. Then haul your bunt well up on the yard, smoothing the skin and bringing it down well abaft, and make fast the bunt gasket round the mast, and the jigger, if there be one, to the tie.
--The Seaman's Manual (1844), by Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
If the ship go before the wind, or as they term it, betwixt two sheets, then he who conds uses these terms to him at the helm: Starboard, larboard, the helm amidships... If the ship go by a wind, or a quarter winds, they say aloof, or keep your loof, or fall not off, wear no more, keep her to, touch the wind, have a care of the lee-latch. all these do imply the same in a manner, are to bid him at the helm to keep her near the wind.
--former pirate Sir Henry Mainwaring (see Harland (1984) p.177)
Speak like that, and you've done it right.