History of Talk Like a Pirate Day


The International Talk Like A Pirate Day began not back in the Golden Age of Pirates in days of yore but in 2002. It was celebrated each year on September 19; though it started in the United States, it is now celebrated internationally across the Seven Seas.

Pirate GuysThe Tale of Talk Like a Pirate Day

The legend goes that its origin was June 6, 1995, during a racquetball game between John Baur and Mark Summers, when Pirate expletives were uttered following an injury. But because this is the observance of D-Day, the date was set instead for September 19, the birthday of the ex-wife of one of the two founders. It was celebrated in relative obscurity by John, Mark, and their friends until one fateful day.

The Captain’s Log

Dave BarryIn 2002, the American humor writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Barry wrote a newspaper article about it and promoted the idea. The rest, as they say, is history. Unlike some of the newer Geek Holidays — like Pi Day, Foursquare Day, or Towel Day — this holiday has gained traction among a broader audience with growing media coverage, books, T-shirts, merch, and other booty.

The trademark has been non-restricted and is more what you’d call a “guideline” than an actual rule. The fact that Hermione Granger‘s birthday in the Harry Potter books is on September 19 shows that this parody holiday has gone viral.

The Ironic History of Talk Like a Pirate Day

Robert Newton

Robert Newton

Talking like a pirate is commonly credited to the British actor Robert Newton, from his depiction of Long John Silver in Disney’s 1950 first live-action feature film Treasure Island. His kind of quasi-Cornish accent — pirates frequented Penzance in Cornwall, England — became popular with subsequent actors who portrayed pirates in film, television, theatre, and radio.

PirateThe modern holiday is described on the official site here.

There’s even a Facebook Page about it here.

Why couldn’t the Pirate graduate from 1st grade?
Because he only knew one letter… “ARRR!”


Bill Petro, your swashbuckling neighborhood historian, me hearty!

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About billpetro

Bill Petro has been a technology sales enablement executive with extensive experience in Cloud Computing, Automation, Data Center, Information Storage, Big Data/Analytics, Mobile, and Social technologies.

1 Comment

  1. JohnGoldenberg on September 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    OUTSTANDING!!!!  I got on board in 2003 after a rather large night out in London where I, or so I was told, spoke like a pirate the entire night…arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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