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Sep
19
Fun Holiday – International Talk Like a Pirate Day

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is a parody holiday annually held on September 19. Celebrated for the first time in 1995, the fun holiday encourages people to talk and dress like the sea plunderers of yesteryears.

Pirate on ship looking at sea
Ahoy me hearties, September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
©iStockphoto.com/izusek

John Baur (“Ol' Chumbucket”) and Mark Summers (“Cap'n Slappy”) created this holiday on June 6, 1995. Out of respect for World War II’s D-Day, Baur and Summers chose to move the date of the holiday to September 19.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day was a low-key event until 2002 when it received media attention via syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry. Today, it is celebrated around the world as a way to raise funds for charity organizations, such as Childhood Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Criminals at Sea

Pirates are people who commit acts of robbery and violence at sea. Pirates have been around ever since the open seas have been used to transport goods and people from one part of the world to the other. Even Julius Caesar was captured by pirates twice.

Historically, pirates were considered contemptible human beings. In many societies, acts of piracy were punishable by torture and death. Even today, piracy is considered an egregious crime at par with other heinous crimes such as treason.

Parodied Version

In the 18th century, the image of pirates got a makeover - from being violent criminals to being somewhat caricatured. They were shown sporting eye patches, a bandana or a tricorne hat, and were always accompanied by a pet, usually a parrot or a monkey. They were also shown to speak a special version of the English language, which is grammatically incorrect, and often interspersed with growls.

How to Celebrate?

  • Dress up like a swashbuckling pirate. Bonus points if you are able to carry a parrot or a monkey on your shoulder.
  • Talk like a pirate the whole day long. Intersperse your speech with grunts and growls and slur your words. Call your friends “matey” and intentionally use bad grammar.
  • Host a pirate themed party and ask your guests to come dressed as pirates.
  • Watch movies and read books that feature pirates as central characters. Some examples include the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Read more about the history of piracy and famous pirates.

Did You Know...

...that William Dampier, an English pirate, was responsible for introducing many words in the English language, still in use today? Some of these include: caress, chopsticks, posse, barbecue and snug. An amateur natural historian, he was also the first person in the world to circumnavigate the world thrice.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day Observances

Fun Holiday: International Talk Like a Pirate Day Observances
YearWeekdayDateName
2016MonSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2017TueSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2018WedSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2019ThuSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2020SatSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2021SunSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2022MonSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2023TueSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2024ThuSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day
2025FriSep 19International Talk Like a Pirate Day

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