Black Bart's
Quick Pirate Glossary

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Aft - Short for "after." Toward the back of the ship.
Ahoy! - "Hello!" or "Well met!"
Avast! - Pirate speak fer "Stop that!" or "Who goes there?"
Belay! - Stop what ye arr doing. Sometimes would also mean "Shut yer pie hole!"
Blaggard - An insult. Originally "Blackguard."
Briny deep - The deep blue ocean.
Cap'n - Short for "captain."
Corsair - A Mediterranean pirate.
Cutlass - Traditional pirate weapon. A curved sword with one cutting edge
& a sharp point.


Davy Jones' locker - The bottom of the sea.
Deadlights - Yer eyes in yer head.
East Indiaman - A large English or Dutch merchant vessel.
Fair winds! - "Goodbye, good luck!"
Fore, or forrard - Toward the front end of the ship.
Gangway! - "Get out of my way!"
Grog - An alcoholic drink made with lime & rum diluted with water
to make it go farther. Black Bart's favorite!
Hands - The crew of a ship; sailors.
Handsomely - Quickly or "Hurry up!"


Island - A place where pirates are sometimes marooned. They can also store goods,
like rum, there or even bury their treasure.
Jack Tar, or tar - Another name fer a sailor.
Jolly Roger - The pirates' skull-and-crossbones flag. It was an invitation to surrender.
A red flag indicated "no quarter."
Keelhaul - A pirate punishment by dragging the victim under the ship,
from one side to the other.
Kiss the gunner's daughter - Yet another pirate punishment: to be bent over one of the ship's guns and flogged.
Landlubber or just lubber - A non-sailor.
Lights - Pirate slang fer yer lungs.


Man-Of-War (also Man-O’-War) - A vessel designed and outfitted for battle.
Mast - The upright wooden post or spar that carries a sail or sails.
Matey - A piratical way to address someone. Can be used in a friendly or
unfriendly fashion.
Me hearties - A typical way for a pirate to address his crew and other fellow pirates.
Mizzen - A fore-and-aft sail set on the mizzenmast.
Monkey - A small cannon.
Nipper - A short length of rope used to bind an anchor cable.
No Quarter Given - A term used to show the enemy that resistance means death.


Oggin - A term for the sea.
On the Account - The piratical life. A man who went "on the account" was turning pirate.
Piece of eight - A Spanish silver coin worth one peso or 8 reales
Powder Monkey - A sailor (often a boy) who supplies the gunners with powder.
Quarterdeck - The after part of the upper deck of a ship.
Rope's end - Another term for flogging.
Rum - A traditional pirate drink.
Savvy - A term meaning, "Do you understand?" from the French savoir.
Sea dog - An experienced seaman or sailor.
Shanty - Another spelling for "chantey" - a sea song.


Topmast - The mast level above the lower mast on a square-rigged ship.
Tricorne - The traditional three-cornered hat worn by pirates.
Weigh Anchor - To haul the anchor up; more generally, to leave a port.
Wench - A young woman or peasant girl.
X - Marks the spot on a treasure map where the gold be hidden.
Ye - Pirate slang for the word you.
Yellow Jack - A yellow flag flown to indicate the presence of an illness,
often yellow fever, aboard a ship.
Yo-Ho-Ho - An exclamation associated with pirates. Whether it actually means
anything or not, it's still a very piratical thing to say.

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