An Aye for an Aye on International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2012

Yo ho, yo ho—it’s a pirate’s day for you!

You can walk the plank—but can you talk the talk? International Talk Like a Pirate Day, falling annually on Sept. 19, is one of the most spirited internet-based holidays out there, where you can really let the Captain Morgan, parrot, and peg leg jokes fly. One might wonder what the thought process was behind the holiday—and the truth is, the people who created it are just as fun and wacky as the holiday itself.

Creators John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball one day in 1995, and their groans and cheers during the game quickly turned into pirate slang. After many jokes, the idea for International Talk Like a Pirate Day was born. They pitched their idea to Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Barry, who eventually featured it in one of his pieces, and the rest is history.

Everyone knows that a pirate is only as good as his vernacul-aarrrrrrr, which means that to get fully in character, you need to have the lingo down so well that Red Beard and Captain Jack Sparrow wouldn’t want to see your Jolly Roger flag in the distance. For any scallywag who needs to brush up a bit, John and Mark’s pirate translator offers everything from "ahoy" to "thar she blows!"

Here, in Moorpark, where we're landlocked, we don't exactly have the opportunity to practice our pirate skills easily, but we've extended our spyglass and searched beyond the city borders for some pirate-type fun within the county.

  • The Camarillo Library, at 4101 Las Posas Road, has a huge pirate ship in its children's section. It's a great place to grab a few pirate picture books and sit and read to the kids!
  • Oxnard State Beach Park—or as the locals call it, "The Pirate Park"—has a pirate ship-themed playground plus plenty of picnic areas and even wheelchair access to the beach. Visit it at 1601 S. Harbor Blvd. and see photos here.
  • Sail the high seas on the 136-foot long replica of a 19th century schooner, The Bill of Rights, which gives tours most weekends from Channel Islands Harbor, 3600 S. Harbor Blvd., Oxnard. Find out more about the tall ship here.
  • Eat at a pirate-themed (or at least pirate-named) restaurant like Black Beard's Seasdide BBQ in Ventura or Pirates Grub 'n Grog in Oxnard.
  • Or, for something quite a bit different for landlubbers, stay the night at a "boatel," or a B&B on the water, at Ventura Harbor.

To get in the spirit of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, you'll need a hat. Any landlubber can make one of these with basic household supplies. The steps shown in this tutorial use a paper grocery bag to make a child-sized hat. If ye be seekin' a hat for a larger pirate, use a newspaper with the same steps provided.

What You'll Need:


Grocery bag (child hat) or newspaper (adult hat) 



Step 1:
Cut open the bag so that you are left with a large front panel.

Step 2:
Carefully remove the handles.

Step 3:
Fold the panel in half along the width of the paper.

Step 4:
Fold the two corners to the center. Because your started with a rectanglular panel, the folded corners should leave you with some excess space at the bottom.

Step 5:
Fold the bottom excess up and over the corners as shown.

Step 6:
Repeat Step 5 for the reverse side of the hat.

Step 7:
Use your marker or other embellishments to decorate the face of your pirate hat. Start with skull and cross bone and see what else you can add. 

Step 8:
Put on your pirate hat and say "ARRRGH!"

Fun Tip: Use these steps to make pirate hats of all different colors and sizes for International Talk Like a Pirate Day or any other pirate-themed events.


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