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Talk Like a Pirate – Sailing – Sail Away Girl


Hello Sailors,

Every year on September 19th we celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day. Did you know that we pretty much Talk Like a Pirate every day?

Well ok we don’t go around saying Arrggghhh or shiver me timbers, but our actual every day speech includes phrases that have come from nautical speak.

Sail Away Girl Talk Like a Pirate

Talk Like a Pirate Common Every Day Phrases:

Here are some words and phrases that can be found in every day speech.

As the Crow Flies – The closest distance between two points.

The saying comes from being lost at sea. Accordingly to lore, when a sailing vessel was lost, they would release a crow and follow it as it was presumed that the crow would head for land. However, no one can confirm that sailing vessels took crows with them to sea. It is also supposedly why the platform near the top of the mast is called the crow’s nest.

Bail Out – To assist financial institutions from failing when they make bad business decisions. OK I’m kidding. It’s to help any one out of a bad situation.

Comes from bailing water out of a boat.

Bamboozle – To swindle or deceive.

The name given to the 17th century practice by the Spanish to hoist false flags.

Cup of Joe – Cup of coffee.

This is Naval lore…Woodrow Wilson’s appointed Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniel’s enacted several reforms including the introduction of women into the Navy (yay Joe), selecting 100 sailors from the fleet to be admitted to the Naval Academy, and abolishing the Officer’s Wine mess and allowing strong coffee to be the only strong drink permitted on a naval vessel.  Hence from where a Cup of Joe is purported to come.

Sail Away Girl Talk Like a Pirate


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – Between a rock and a hard place.

The longest seam from stem to stern on a ship. It would often have to be re-caulked while under way and a sailor would be dangled off the side between the devil and the sea to caulk. This was considered a very dangerous position to be in for this task.

Main Stay – Foundation, solid.

On a sailing vessel it is a stay that goes from the top of the mast to the bow of the boat and assists along with the other stays in keeping the mast upright.

 Sky Scraper – A very Tall building.

Clipper ships used to hoist sails well above the top of any other sails when winds were light. Other sails that were hoist high in light winds were, moonrakers, angel’s foot stools, and star gazers. Love the names of these sails.

Sail Away Girl Talk Like a Pirate


I actually used to work on the top floor of this building when I was in college in San Antonio. I worked for Touche Ross & Co., one of the then “Big Eight” accounting firms as an intern. Found this on iStockphotos and had to use it for my sky scraper photo. Don’t ask when it was because I’m not sayin’.

We these are just a few that I found that you may not have known from where they came. I also posted on this topic once before. If you click here, you can find those salty terms.

Don’t forget to enter to win the beautiful Mugaritz cookbook I am giving away to one lucky follower. One entry per person please and good luck! Enter by April 30, 2014.


See you on the water,

Sail Away Girl