Pirate Dictionary

A
Aft - The back of the ship.
Ahoy! - ‘Hello’
Arr - Yes/That’s great/I agree
Aye - ‘Yes, definitely.’
Aye Aye - ‘Of course, I’ll do that now.’

B
Barbary Coast - Mediterranean coast off of North Africa.
Be - Use instead of ‘am’, ‘are’ or ‘is’.
Bilboes - Leg irons attached to the deck of a ship.
Bilge - The dirtiest, smelliest and lowest part of a ship.
Bilge rat - A rat that lives in the dirtiest, smelliest and lowest part of a ship. This is not a nice name to call somebody.
Black Spotted - A person/animal that has had a curse put on them.
Blimey - ‘Wow.’
Booty - Riches that have usually been stolen.
Bounty - A reward, usually paid by the Government for the capture of a criminal.
Buccanneer - Pirates, usually from Hispaniola, who attacked Spanish ships in the Caribbean.
Bucko - Friend

C
Careen - To clean the hull of a ship.
Cat’o’nine tails - A whip made up of nine knotted ropes and used as punishment.
Convoy - A group of ships traveling together.
Corsair - Pirates in the Mediterranean.
Crow’s Nest - A lookout point at the top of the highest mast of a ship.
Cutlass - A curved sword, often used by sailors.

D
Davy Jones Locker - The bottom of the ocean.
Deck - The highest floor on a ship.
Deckhand - A person working on a ship, sometimes shortened to ‘hand’.
Dubloon - An old Spainish gold coin.

F
Fair Winds - ‘Good Luck.’
Flog - To whip.
Fore - Short for ‘forward’.

G
Galleon - A large, squarish ship used in war or to carry cargo.
Gangway - ‘Clear a path.’
Grog - Rum mixed with water or any kind of alcohol.
Grub - Food

H
Hands - Crewmen.
Haven - A safe place.
Heave to - To change the direction of the ship so it is facing forwards into the wind.
Hold - The space in a ship where cargo or prisoners were kept.
Hornpipe - A dance or a single reeded musical instrument.
Hornswaggle - To cheat.
Hornswaggler - A person who cheats.
Hulk - The old, dismantled body of a ship, sometimes used as prisons.
Hull - The body of a ship, not including the masts and rigging.

J
Jack Tar - Sailor
Jolly Roger - The pirate flag - a white skull and crossbones on a black background.

K
Keel - The main framework of a ship that runs from the front to the back at the bottom of the ship.
Keelhaul - To pull somebody under the keel of a ship. Done by using ropes and often as a form of punishment.

L
Lad - Young man.
Land ahoy! - ‘I see land.’
Land lubber or lubber - A person who likes being on land, often used as an insult.
Lass - Young woman.
Leg Irons - Wide rings of metal that were attached to each other and fastened around prisoner’s ankles.
Loot - Gold and riches usually stolen.
Lubber or land lubber - A person who likes being on land, often used as an insult.

M
Marooned - Left alone, usually on a deserted island.
Mast - The upright pole on a ship that the sails and ropes are attached to.
Mate or Matey - Friend
Me - Used instead of ‘my’.
Me beauty - How you would address a pretty lady or something important to you.
Me hearties - Friends
Merchant Ship - A ship carrying cargo to be sold.
Mutiny - When a ship’s crew refuse to follow the captain’s orders.

N
New World - America

P
Peg leg - An artificial leg, usually wooden.
Pieces of Eight - An old Spanish silver coin.
Pirate - A ‘robber of the sea’.
Plunder - To steal.
Poop deck - The floor that is also the roof of a cabin built on the upper deck.
Poop cabin - A room built on the top deck of a ship, often the Captain’s.
Port - The left side when facing the ship’s pointy end, also a strong alcoholic drink, and the area of land next to where ships are left when the pirates go ashore.
Privateer - English, French or Dutch sailors allowed by their Government to attack enemy ships.
Prow - The pointy end of a ship.

Q
Quartermaster - The sailor second-in-charge to the Captain.

R
Rigging - The ropes, mast and sails on a ship.

S
Salt or Old Salt - Somebody who has been a sailor for a long time.
Sea dog - Somebody who has been a sailor for a long time.
Scurvy - A disease many sailors got because they didn’t eat enough vitamin C.
Scuttle - To make a hole in a ship’s hull or to sink the ship.
Shanty - A seafaring song.
Shipshape - To be neat and tidy.
Shiver me timbers - ‘What a surprise.’
Sink me - ‘What a surprise.’
Smartly - Quickly
Starboard - The right side of the ship (if you are facing the pointed end).
Swab - To clean something or a name for somebody you don’t like very much.
Swag - Gold and riches.

T
To be three sheets to the wind - To have drunk too much alcohol.
Titivate - To clean up and make neat.

W
Walk the plank - To be forced to walk along and off the end of a plank that has been placed over the side of a ship.
Weevil - A kind of beetle that can eat your food before you do.
Weigh anchor - To lift the anchor and be ready to sail.

Y
Ye - Used instead of ‘you’.
Yer - Used instead of ‘your’.
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