September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here’s a few words and phrases you can use around the office with your fellow landlubbers this Monday to start an interesting work day. We’ll start with some of the vocabulary.
Ahoy! Hello. Good Morning.
Arrrr! Or Arrrgh! An exclamation in response to a negative event. Perhaps you can use these instead of certain four letter words while at the office.
Avast! Listen up! Attention, please! Pay attention! (You may hear this from your boss if you’re caught sleeping at your desk, you scallywag.)
Aye! Yes, sir! Right away, Captain! I agree!
Belay! To belay meant to tie something down or secure it. It was also meant to ignore something…”Belay that last command!” You probably belay annoying co-workers.
Boatswain. (Pronounced ‘bosun’ ?) One in charge of a certain deck, whether it was the crew, equipment, or activities. This would be your immediate supervisor today, but not the CEO.
Booty. It meant treasure to the pirates. Today, it can mean a pay check or a bonus. Or it can mean whatever you stole from your shipmate’s desk.
Bow. Front of the ship. Presently the front of your car, cab, subway, or office.
Davy Jones’ Locker. A legendary place at the bottom of the sea that housed dead sailors/pirates. It may have been a general reference to death also. This is where you will now find yourself if you do not get your paperwork done on time.
Dead Man’s Chest. Coffin. To me, a tiny work cubicle feels like the dead man’s chest.
Deck. Flat areas on top and outside of the ship. The poop deck was the highest and furthest most deck of the ship, usually above the captain’s quarters. A deck in our place of employment is a main work area or conference room.
Duffle. A pirate’s personal belongings. The duffle also referred to the bag he kept his stuff in. (My duffle was stolen from my work quarters…ARRGH!!)
Dungbie. Rear end. Buttocks. What you sit on all day.
Grog. A rum drink mixed with water. Today, some of your colleagues may feel they need a grog shortly after 5 pm.
Hands. Crew members aboard a ship. You and your fellow colleagues are the hands of your company.
Hardtack. Crackers made of flour, water, and salt. They did not keep well on a ship. Hardtacks can now be considered the bagels left over after a meeting or training.
Head. A toilet. It could have been as simple as a hole cut in the front of back of a ship to allow wastes to fall into the sea. Us office dwellers call the head a bathroom.
Hearty. As a noun, it was referred to fellow sailors, usually in a cheerful manner.
Hornswaggle. To cheat or fraud, usually pertaining to money or belongings. You know, that guy who always skips out on paying for lunch.
Jacob’s Ladder. The main rope used to climb aboard a ship. Nowadays, it is the staircase, escalator, or elevator.
Jolly Roger. A pirate’s flag, often with a skull and crossbones and announced to nearby ships that you were a pirate. Many held the colors red and black. Modern day Jolly Rogers are business cards.
Landlubber. A ‘lubber’ was a term for a slow or clumsy person. A landlubber may have been used to point out a crew member who was not that great of a sailor. It has also come to mean someone that loves the land instead of the sea.
Marooned. Left behind on an island as a punishment or for not hauling ye dungbie to the ship in time. You get marooned if you don’t make it to the bus station, subway, or the car pool in time.
Mate or Matey. Shipmates. Someone a pirate sails with or has previously sailed with. Not quite sure if it means a ‘friend’ or not. Today, it can be a somewhat trusted co-worker.
Monkey Jacket. A waist-length jacket worn on the ship. Business men and women now don monkey jackets in the office. ‘Monkey suits’ anyone?
Parley. A verbal treaty between opposing pirates to stop a fight or reach an agreement. We now call it ‘conflict management.’
Port. Left side of the ship. Now the left side of your car, cab, subway, bus, or office building.
Starboard. Right side of the side. Ride side of car, office building, etc.
Stern. Back of the ship. Back of the car, subway, office, etc.
Allrighty then. How about we try out some slang, mateys?
Abandon ship! Fire drill, people. Let’s get out of the building.
All hands on deck! Mandatory staff meeting.
Belay that last order! Oops. I did not mean to send that email to everyone…
Get ye hands off me booty! Don’t touch my stuff!! Don’t take my good pen! Those are MY sticky notes! I better not catch you sneaking in to my chocolate stash.
I’ll be sent to Davy Jones’ Locker before giving up me main quarters, scallywag! You’ll get my large, corner office with a window over my dead body, you loser.
I’ve got the Davies. Or: I’ve got the Joneseys. It’s late and dark. I’m still here doing paperwork, and I’ve got the creeps in this old and creaky building. Or: I’ve been Jonesed! I’ve hit some bad luck. I’ve been screwed!
Jacob’s ladder be yonder to the starboard. The elevator is located down that hall to the right. (Although ye should haul ye large, lubber dungbie up the stairs there, matey.)
No quarter given. Sorry, we are not hiring at this time.
Shiver me timbers! Pirates exclaimed this when they were surprised or caught of guard. It’s origins may have been born by the sound of a ship running aground or being hit by cannon fire. Today we can exclaim this when we are drowning in paperwork.
Take a caulk. To take a quick nap during lunchtime, a long meeting, or when you think no one is looking.
The head be to the port stern. Bathroom is down the back hallway to the left.
Weigh anchor. In pirate lingo, it meant to set sail or leave port. Today it can mean: Let’s go! Let’s get out of here! To leave your home or place of work. To set off on your morning commute.
Here’s the official website to learn more about Talk Like a Pirate Day! http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html