Ahoy! Four Alternative Pirates for Talk Like a Pirate Day

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

Arrrr you a little bored with Talk Like a Pirate Day? Running out of ways to work “scalawag” and “walk the plank” into your everyday discourse? Or maybe you just want to give the entire holiday a keel-over-haul. Here are four alternative pirates to refresh your scuttlebutt speechifying.

The Dread Pirate Roberts
Occupation: Farm boy with a promotion
Accent: The vaguely British intonation of Florin/Guilder
Catchphrase: “As you wish!”

Sah-woon. Here’s a pirate who puts the nautical vessel in dreamboat. There’s really very little to dread here, which is why The DPR is a great choice to emulate if you’re after a dreamy but aloof guy/gal like Buttercup. Use your suave swashbuckling lingo to commandeer respect, banish ROUSes, and win twoo wuv.


Sir Francis Drake
Occupation: Privateer in her Majesty’s Service
Accent: Ye Olde Shakespearean Englysshe
Catchphrase: “Armada? More like arNADA!”

Having Sir Francis Drake as your favorite pirate smacks of hipsteresque elitism (oh, I only like real pirates) but there’s no denying that dude was a badass—circumnavigating the globe, blowing up a bunch of Spanish ships, and rocking a dope fluffy collar. Plus, when else do you get a chance to use choice Elizabethan words like oddsbodkins and gadzooks? Not verily often.


Captain Malcolm “Tightpants” Reynolds
Occupation: Space pirate
Accent: Sino-American
Catchphrase: “Shiny!”

While whip-smart Whedonesque dialogue will win you geek cred any day of the year, there’s no better day to trot out clever quips, gentle jabs, and that trademark stammering delivery than September 19th. Advanced option: throw in a word or two of Mandarin.


Captain Jean LaFoote
Occupation: Barefoot pirate/nemesis/cereal fanatic
Accent: Reedeeculously Fronsh
Catchphrase: Anything involving a desire for Cap’n Crunch (the cereal, not the Cap’n himself)

LaFoote is basically the Snively Whiplash of breakfast cereal, which makes him way more interesting than his bland-O blue-hatted enemy. Twiddle an imaginary mustache and mutter under your breath about what you’d do for a bowl of that sweet, sweet, mouth-destroying cereal (because no one will think you’re crazy for that).

Blair Thornburgh

Blair Thornburgh

BLAIR THORNBURGH is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in medieval studies and delivered a pretty good commencement speech. She lives in Philadelphia.