Talk like a pirate, win a book

So this Friday, September 19th, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Now that’s something I can really get behind.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow

I love pirates. From The Black Swan to The Sea Hawk, from Raphael Sabatini to William Goldman, from Errol Flynn to Johnny Depp, I dig them all. And not just the fictional ones: I’ve seen Blackbeard’s cannon and Black Sam Bellamy’s bell (that sounds vaguely homoerotic, doesn’t it?).


In 2012, I wrote my own pirate novel, Wake of Bloody Angel, part of my Eddie LaCrosse series. I put as much awesome pirate stuff in it as I could: a tough lady pirate who could’ve been played by Maureen O’Hara, a pirate hunter based on Woodes Rogers, a mysterious captain every bit as scary as Blackbeard, and of course sword battles at sea, treasure hunts on desert islands, ghost ships, and even a sea monster. I wanted to jam the story full of everything that, to me, makes pirates cool.

So in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, I’m giving away a signed copy of Wake of the Bloody Angel, along with The Mammoth Book of Men O’War: 18 Stories from the Age of Fighting Sail.

Men O'War cover

In the comments below, tell me your favorite pirate*, or your favorite bit of pirate trivia**, or your favorite pirate joke***, and you’ll automatically be entered to win. Deadline is midnight on Sunday, September 21.

Against All Flags

*for me, it’s Long John Silver. I love reading Treasure Island aloud to my kids.

**pirates kept barrels of urine on their ships to help get out bloodstains. I put that in the novel.

***A pirate applies for a job as a tanker captain. He has a peg leg, a hook for a hand, and an eye patch. “A shark took me leg,” he tells the interviewer.  “And a crocodile took me hand.”
“What happened to your eye?” asks the interviewer.
“Seagull. It flew over and pooped right in me eye.”
“And that blinded you?”
“No, but it happened on me first day with me hook.”

39 Comments on “Talk like a pirate, win a book”

  1. I admit to being partial to Errol Flynn…

    I like a little swash with my buckler.
    (No need to enter me in the contest, but I couldn’t resist commenting. Arg.)

  2. Here’s a pirate joke for you: Where does a pirate captain keep his buccaneers?

    Answer: Under his buckin’ hat!

  3. I love historical pirate books. Some of the best I have read are Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard; Pirate Coast by Richard Zaks; Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zaks; Empire of Blue Water by Stephen Tally.

  4. My favorite pirate has been Capt. Jack Sparrow. My favorite quote of his is from the second movie in the series where he says in a sing-song voice “I’ve got a jar of dirt!” I keep on my desk a jar of beach sand and YES there is something hidden in it!

  5. My favorite pirate is Grania O’Malley. Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan, and pirate through and through!

  6. My favorite pirate is One Eyed Willie from The Goonies. I know he barely counts but it’s one of my all time favorite movies.

    “Goonies never say die!”

  7. I have always liked Anne Bonney and Mary Read – they proved they could pirate with the best of them –

  8. your favorite bit of pirate trivia**

    The mystery of ‘Oak Island’ and its reported pirate treasure is a strange attractor of all sorts of weird conspiracy theories.

  9. My fav is the lady pirate, Sadie, the Goat who was named for her habit of head butting her victims before taking their money. Pirates pierced their ears with silver or gold because they believed it helped them see better. (FYI, I have eight ear piercings and wear glasses. Totally does not work.). What’s a horny pirate’s worst nightmare? A sunken chest with no booty!

  10. Peter Pan was one of my earliest influences. So I’m gonna go with Captain Hook as my favorite pirate. There’s been so many different portrayals of the character and I love every one I’ve seen.

  11. One of my favourite pirates is Jacky Faber, main character in the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. Awesome adventure stories 🙂

  12. I read Jefferson Key by Steve Barry. Historical Fiction. It tells of piracy and our own government and was quite fascinating! I have relatives who live in Bath, NC. Blackbeard’s favorite cove! Bath is the oldest city in NC!

  13. i have always loved pirate stories and movies treasure island was one of the first one i read. soon i will be 65 years old and i still love pirate movies and stories.

  14. I will post a joke in hopes of a book!

    Why did the pirate get shot by a prostitute?

    Because he was singing “Yo, Ho, Ho!”

  15. Not the best pirate joke, but hopefully good enough to enter me in the drawing:

    Why do pirates keep a bar of soap tied around their neck?

    So if they are shipwrecked they can wash themselves ashore.

  16. On facebook you used to be able to choose “Pirate” as your language. I had it set to that for a while but I couldn’t understand the language well enough so I had to switch back to English.

    Here is my joke: How do pirates pay for a round o’ rum down at the pub?

    With Bar-nickels.

  17. The Dread Pirate Roberts
    Pirates wore an eye patch to preserve their night vision in one eye
    You would be thinking that a pirate’s favorite letter would be “R” but that be wrong. His first love was the “C”.

  18. Favorite pirate: Captain Blood. Also like Gina Davis’s character from Cutthroat Island. Can’t remember her name though.
    They wore gold earrings, I believe, to pay the Devil to spare them from drowning.
    Can’t think of a joke.

  19. Gonna go with Dread Pirate Roberts. Has to be a fictional one, because real life pirates were so bloody evil.

  20. Mine were the pirate stations I listened to on the North Sea when I lived in the Netherlands The ones the movie “Pirate Radio” was based on really existed.(By a different name) It was the place that dared to play the music the regular radios wouldn’t or couldn’t, and that gave us the ability to play the wide range of radio music we are now privy to. They were true pirates without the killing, just the rebellions. They and we listeners and supporters dared to buck the system. Argghhh!

  21. Michael Bolton singing about how much he loves the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
    In fact, I’m going to watch it again because I could use a laugh.
    Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton) by thelonelyisland

  22. Ahoy. A bit o’ trivia for ye.
    Blackbeard, that scallywag and scurvy mongrel, did not fly the Jolly Roger, but him own colors:
    A black flag embroidered with Old Nick in white, pointing a spear at a red heart in the lower starboard corner.

  23. The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance (Kevin Kline) or Long John Silver in Muppet’s Treasue Island (Tim Curry). I like me some fantasy singing and dancing pirates, not the real bloody criminal ones.

  24. Whenever I think of pirates I wanna pick up a drink and sing

    Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
    Drink and the devil had done for the rest
    Yohoho and a bottle of rum

    I used to sing it loudly when I was in primary school to show my anger on a delayed dinner. well … I turned out ok

  25. There’s this episode of the toddler show “The Backyardigans” where they play pirates, and they are looking for some treasure, and the map says, “X marks the spot,” so they find the X, they dig, and they find the treasure. And then they have this other treasure map that says, “Y marks the spot,” so they find the Y, they dig, and they find the treasure. Watching this with my little daughter, I started laughing and couldn’t stop. “Y marks the spot.” I don’t know what I found that so funny!

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