Popular Pirate Slang
`All Hands Hoay! - "All Hands on Deck!” everyone on the ship called to the deck, usually for action
`Avast - "Avast Ye!" from the Dutch term for 'hold fast' and means "Stop and pay attention.” like, "Get a load of this."
`Black Spot - a death threat among pirates made of a black spot or mark on a scrap of paper with more specific detail sometimes written on the other side, referred to in the story, Treasure Island.
`Dance the Hempen Jig - To hang, (rope was often made of hemp fibers)
`Dungbie - rear end
`Go on Account -a tongue-in-cheek description pirates used that compared the act of becoming a pirate to going into business
`Hempen Halter- The hangman's noose.
`Hornswaggle - To cheat or defraud, often of money or belongings, Yosemite Sam knows a lot about it
`Shiver me timbers! - akin to "Blow me down!", an expression of shock or disbelief, believed to come from the sound the ship made when 'shocked' by running aground or hit by a cannon blast.
-Pirate Lingo for Ship Parts and Articles, Supplies-
`Abaft - from the old English for 'on or to the aft', toward the back end or stern of the boat
`Athwartships - at a right angle to the midline or centerline of the boat, which is an imaginary line drawn from bow to stern that equally divides the ship
`Binnacle - from the Latin word for 'dwelling place', a box or case which houses the compass upon the deck.
`Cackle Fruit - chicken eggs
`Charlie Noble - upon finding that the stack for the ship's galley was copper, merchant captain Charles Noble then required it to be kept polished, the stack took his name thereafter. Old Salts would kid around with the new recruits and tell them to find or summon Charlie Noble.
`Coaming - A vertical rim surrounding hatch openings and such to keep any water on deck from entering below it, excellent for tripping on
`Duffle - everything a sailor owns, also the nickname for the bag which holds it
`Fo'c's'le - an abbreviation for forecastle, the forward most part of the ship
`Futtock Shrouds - pieces joining the rigging of lower and top masts
`Head - A marine toilet, which could be no more than a hole cut in the decking at the head or bow of the ship that would allow waste to go into the sea, the waves hopefully washing away what may have not hit the water (also called a jardin), NOT the same as the poop deck!
`Holystone - bars of sandstone would be used to scrub the decks, the softer areas of the stone would wear away and leave holes, also, the sailors were said to look like they were praying as they knelt to scrub
`Jacob's Ladder - the rope ladder used to climb aboard the ship
`Mizzen - the third mast from the bow on a vessel having three or more masts, or the mast immediately aft of the main-mast
`Monkey - A small cannon
`Monkey Jacket - a short waist jacket worn by midshipmen
`Orlop - the deck for stowing cables
`Poop Deck - the deck that is the furthest and the highest back, usually above the `Captain's quarters, NOT to be confused with the head!
`Rullock - the cutaway or notch on the side rail of the boat from which oars would pivot
`Salmagundi - A popular dish of chopped meat ( beef, fish, chicken, pig, turtle, etc.), eggs, anchovies, onions, grapes, cabbage or herring, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar
Pirate Talk for Crew and Others-
`Coxswain - originally the Captain's attendant who would row him to and from the ship, later came to mean the helmsman
"Drivelswigger" - one who reads about nautical terms too much
`Flibustier- term the French gave pirates of the Golden Age
`Freebooter - from the Dutch for 'free' and 'plunder', reference to a pirate
`Jack Tar - early sailor's tarpaulin clothing was infused with tar, which some say also deflected sword blows in addition to shedding water, similar to Joe Blow or John Q. Public
`Landlubber - 'lubber' was an old English word for a big, slow, clumsy person, and this term was aimed at those persons on ship who were not very skilled or at ease with ship life, as if to say, "You were no better on the land."
`Picaroon - from the Spanish word for rascal, it was applied to a form of verse about pirates that was satirical or humorous
`Powder Monkey - a gunner's assistant
-Pirate Phrases for Crew Activity-
`Swing the Lead - A lead weight swung from a line into water when near shore was a way to measure depth, the job's simple requirements caused the phrase to evolve into a term for slacking off
`Take a Caulk - The deck's gaps were sealed with oakum and tar, and napping on them would leave black lines on the clothes. Someone going to nap on deck could say they were going to "take a caulk"
-Pirate Slang for Drink-
`Black Jack - large drinking cups made of leather that were made stiffer with an application of tar
`Bumboo - A drink of the West Indies made with watered rum and flavored with sugar and nutmeg
`Grog - the nickname of a British admiral was applied to a mix of water and rum, the rum was a cheap antiseptic and flavor mask for the spoiled water that sailors often encountered while at sea
`Hogshead- a large barrel or cask holding 63 to 140 gallons, usually referring to alcohol
-Pirate Slang for Death-
`Davy Jones's Locker - the imaginary place at the ocean bottom that holds dead sailors and pirates...a reference to death. Davy Jones was said to be an evil spirit lurking at sea, waiting to escort dead sailors or pirates to his place or locker at the bottom of the waters.
`To be in Davy's Grip: To be close to death, or frightened.
`To have the Davies or the Joneseys: To be frightened
`To see you to Davy Jones: To threaten to kill some one