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Talk Like a Pirate Day
Those looking for a fun holiday to fill the gap between Labor Day and Halloween should look no further than Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is celebrated on September 19th. Though not a formally recognized holiday, this casual celebration started as a way to just have fun by encouraging participants to dress and talk like a pirate. However, this day of fun has now expanded globally into over 40 countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. Even some U.S. states such as Michigan have recognized the day as an official holiday, though not one that workers get off.
The Holiday’s Origins
Talk Like a Pirate Day was conceptualized on June 6, 1995 by John Baur, whose pirate name is Ol' Chumbucket, and Mark Summers, who goes by Cap'n Slappy. However, because June 6th is also D-Day, commemorating World War II, they chose to move the date to September 19th. Interestingly enough, the holiday was barely celebrated until nationally known humor columnist Dave Barry helped popularize it in 2002 by mentioning it in his newspaper column. Following Barry’s recognition, the popularity of the event grew. The popularity was further spurred on by the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. Additionally, Baur’s family appeared on a 2006 episode of the popular reality TV series Wife Swap, where his family dressed and spoke like pirates.
Celebrate With Flair
Many restaurants, fast-food establishments and bars celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day by offering discounts to those who speak like a pirate when ordering. Many seafood establishments really get in on the action by holding pirate week events leading up to Talk Like a Pirate Day. Other organizations, such as charities, have capitalized on the fun and frivolity of the day to organize fundraisers. Though not required to dress like a pirate on this day, many participants do indeed opt to sport traditional pirate gear including peg legs, parrots, eye patches, bandanas and swords. Many also choose a pirate name for the day, requiring everyone to use it or else “walk the plank.” There are even web-based pirate name generators that make the process easy for the less creative.
Master the Vernacular
The goal of the day is to incorporate as much pirate-speak into everyday conversation as possible. Popular pirate phrases include things like "Ahoy Matey," "Shiver Me Timbers" and "Who Goes There?" The founders also encourage slurring your words and being generally hard to get along with, much like a real-life pirate.