Arrrr!

Ahoy! Today’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and we couldn’t let it go by without a salute. Various sources on the web offer glossaries of pirate talk, the Long John Silver fast-food chain has promotions, and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have brought pirates — at least fantasy pirates — to the fore once again. And the linguistic element? Those various sources also tell us that the whole “Aarrrr!” business and the pirate dialect (swaggering is pretty much required to bring it off successfully) originate with Robert Newton’s portrayal of Long John Silver in the 1950 Disney version of Treasure Island. The accent comes from his Cornish background, the sea talk from sea talk, and the “Aarrr!” was all his own. International Talk Like a Pirate Day has only been around since 2002 but it’s growing in popularity thanks to its heaaarrrrrtfelt sense of fun and color. All in favor say, “Aye, aye!”

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