– Insane or foolish
- "Hey!"; From the Dutch word for "hold fast" or
– a pistol
– a sailor posted on land
"Stop that!" or "Shut up!"
Bilge - Foolish talk. The
bilges of a ship were usually filled with rack water, hence "bilgewater".
Booty - Any form of loot
Brethren of the coast - The
name used by 17th century pirates to describe themselves.
Cackle fruit - Chicken eggs
"Cat" - A whip with many lashes, used for
flogging. To "let the cat out of the bag" is derived from
Caulker - A stiff glass of
alcohol taken to round off a drinking bout.
"Damn yer eyes" -
A popular insult much used by pirates.
Dance the hempen jig - To
hang. Ropes were usually made from hemp.
Davy Jones Locker
- The place at the bottom of the sea usually reserved for Pirates.
Deadlights - Eyes.
Dead men - empty bottles
from which the spirit has flown.
Dead man's chest - A
Drivelswigger - Someone who
reads too many nautical adventures.
Feed the Fish - To be
thrown into the sea, dead or alive.
Dutchman - Ghost ship
whose sighting spelled doom on the seas
Freebooter - Another term
for Pirate, from the Dutch words for "Free" and
Grog - Most any form of a
rum based drink. Usually Rum mixed with the putrid drinking water on
board a ship to make it more palatable; can also involve fruit juices
when available. Derived from a British Admiral who was fond of drink. To
feel "Groggy" is to have maybe over done it a bit...
Gully - A knife or dagger
Handsomely - Quickly.
"Handsomely now!" meant "hurry it up!"
Jack Ketch - The hangman.
To "dance with Jack Ketch" meant to "to hang".
Jolly Roger - General
term for a flag emblazoned with emblems of death. These "pirate
flags" were used to warn the pirate's victims to surrender without
a fight. Click here for more about Flags
Keelhauling - was meted out
to sailors for minor infractions at sea. Typically the victim was tied
to a rope looped beneath the vessel, thrown overboard, and then dragged
under the keel and up the other side. Since the keel was usually
encrusted with barnacles and other crud the guy's hide would be scraped
raw and he'd think twice about doing whatever it was he'd gotten
keelhauled for again. Sometimes they heaped chains and such on him to
add injury to insult. Keelhauling crops up in your Hollywood pirate's
conversation about as often as shiver me timbers, but as far as can be
told, it was officially enacted as a punishment only by the Dutch. The
earliest official mention of keelhauling seems to be a Dutch ordinance
of 1560 and the practice wasn't formally abolished until 1853.
Kiss the gunner's daughter
- To be bent over one of the ship's cannons and be flogged.
- The sea.
On the account
- The pirate life.
- Another term for flogging.
- An experienced sailor.
Sea rat & Sea rover
-Other names for Pirate.
"Shiver me Timbers!"
- An expression of surprise, derived from a sudden blow to a ship, like
from a cannonball.
Splice the Mainbrace
- To take a drink.
- An ordinary seaman who mopped the decks.
Swallow the anchor
- To retire from the life of the sea.
- Another term for Piracy.
Walk the plank
- A short walk to a watery grave.