Frequently* Asked Questions

*Revised to add questions which we’ve actually be asked, if not “frequently,” at least “now and then.”

Q – The big question: WHY? Why International Talk Like a Pirate Day?
A – Why not? Talking like a pirate is fun. It’s really that simple. It adds a zest, a swagger, to your every day conversation. Do you need another reason? How many chances does daily life give you to swagger?

Q – When is Talk Like A Pirate Day 2023 (2024, 2036, etc.)?
A – International Talk Like a Pirate Day isn’t one o’ those governmentally sanctioned holidays that shifts around to create a convenient three-day weekend. No, – the date is ALWAYS Sept. 19. Occasionally September. 19 falls on a Sunday, and we recognize that may not meet everyone’s desire for an excuse to party. Just remember that pirates don’t NEED an excuse to party. We just do it.

And don’t overlook the fun of talking like a pirate, babbling like a buccaneer, at work and school and the supermarket

Q – Where did the idea for Talk Like a Pirate Day come from?
A – Believe it or not, the holiday was birthed on the racquetball court.
Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy, who at the time were two normal guys named John Baur and Mark Summers, had undertaken an exercise regime to “get back in shape,” (as if) and that included weekly games of racquetball at the local YMCA.

On June 6, 1995, they were playing on Court No. 3 when Mark let out a roar, very like an “Aarrr!” From there he sprang into full pirate talk, and John followed along.

By the time the game was over (you can assume Mark won. John has never won a game of racquetball in his life.) they were speaking solely in the language of freebooters. They decided right there and then that the world needed as holiday where every man, woman and children in the nation would be not just free to talk like a pirate, but encourage to do so.

John came up with the name. At first it was National Talk Like a Pirate Day. It has grown.

Q – If they came up with the idea on June 6, why is the holiday celebrated on Sept. 19?
A – The two realized quickly that June 6 is the anniversary of World War II’s D-Day, a sacred even in the life of the nation and in guy lore. Rather than besmirch the memory of that day, we needed another for our ersatz holiday. But what?

John asked Mark if he had anything, and without hesitation he replied, “September 19.”

“OK,” John said. “But why.”

“It’s my ex-wife’s birthday,” Mark explained. “The day is stuck in my head and I’m not doing anything with it, so it’ll be easier to remember.”
Q – When do we celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day if Sept. 19 is a Sunday, or a Wednesday, or any other day I personally find inconvenient?
A – Let us explain this again for those who don’t listen well. Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated every Sept. 19. This isn’t like a federal holiday that flits around the calendar so that getting a three-day weekend is more important than what’s actually being celebrated. Christmas is celebrated on Dec 25, but have you ever gone to a party on Dec. 25? Of course not. Christmas parties take place in the weeks before the holiday. This is like that. Besides, the fun of our holiday is pratling like a pirate in inappropriate settings, like work, or church, or the PTA meeting. “Damn yer eyes Karen! The wee ones don’t want a ‘safe’ climbing structure. They want a spinning platform like a galleon trapped in a whirlpool that could hurl any one of their tiny bodies from here to Tortuga without warning!”

Q – We’ve noticed Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket call themselves “The Pirate Guys.” but they’re not alone. There seem to be two women involved as well. Are they guys too?
A – Quite an eye, you’ve got there. Yes, the two women are guys in the sense that we use the word – an all-inclusive, gender solitary word that means everyone near the sound of our voices. And we can be pretty damn loud. When you burst into a room with news and shout “Hey, guys!” you’re not checking to see who is what. You’re just trying to get attention.

The two women of Team Pirate are:
– Mad Sally, the Official Lusty Pirate Wench, who besides being Ol’ Chumbucket’s wife, started our video project, has performed onstage with us and handles a lot of the logistics, and
– Our friend Jezebel the Webwench, a web designer by trade who volunteered to get our web site of the ground and couldn’t get free of the job for 16 years.

As we often say, “Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket have lots of ideas we think are funny. Mad Sally and Jezebel do most of the heavy lifting to make them work.”

Q – OK, settle this once and for all. Is it “Aarrr!,” “Aarrgh!,” “Yarrr,” “Yarrrrgh” or what?
A – Ol’ Chumbucket has always held that the preferred exclamation be “Aarrr!” and not, “Aarrrgh!” “Aarrrgh is a sound of frustration,” Ol’ Chumbucket says. “It’s the sound you’d make if you sat on a belaying pin.”

But the fact o’ the matter is, thar be pirates what says, “Arrr!” AND pirates what says, “Arrrgh!” and thems what say, “Yarrr!” or even “Yarrrgh!” (Although “Yarrr!” tends to be a British variant and “Yarrgh” seems to be favored by the Dutch.)

But we don’t care how ye say it! Your “Arrr!” should just come from yer heart – and all the way down to yer bowels and be a fully formed expression o’ yer own Pirattitude!


Got yer own questions? Ask away!