The Pirate Primer

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The Pirate Primer
Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues
by George Choundas
Writer’s Digest Books, 2007
ISBN 978-1-58297-489-7
$19.99 hardcover, 480 pages

Ebbry-blastin’-theng ye needs must know-oo to lay tongue liker aargh-thentic pirate, by the devil’s twisted tail.

Take a tour through the world of piracy with the only authoritative work on the pirate language. A comprehensive course in pirate vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and syntax, The Pirate Primer contains three centuries of distinctive terms and usages uttered by (and attributed to) pirates in film, TV, literature, and history.

Discover more than 100 pages of threats, curses, oaths, insults, and epithets; 31 types of pirate drink; 60 different pirate terms for “woman”; 67 kinds of pirate torture and punishment; 44 distinct definitions of “aargh”; and more.

Each entry in the Primer is accompanied by an excerpt, so you can see the words and phrases used in proper context by actual pirates. And each linguistic concept is introduced by a related anecdote or narrative account, so you can live the language while you learn it.

Whether you’re simply fascinated by the culture of the Brethren of the Coast or you fancy yourself a modern-day corsair, The Pirate Primer is your guide to authentic pirate speak. Should you ever stare down Davy Jones and he demands proof that you’re one who flies no flag, despair not.

You’ll be able to talk the talk, and no mistake.

Download an excerpt from Chapter 8: Insults.

Read an interview with author George Choundas.

Table of Contents
CH 1 Greetings & Partings
CH 2 Calls   
CH 3 Flourishes   
CH 4 Commands
    4.1    Command Elements   
    4.2    General Commands
    4.3    Special Commands   
CH 5    Threats
    5.1 Types of Threats
    5.2 Retorts to Threats
    5.3 Catalog of Threats
CH 6 Oaths  
CH 7 Curses
CH 8 Insults
CH 9 Epithets   
    9.1 Modifiers   
    9.2 Nouns   
CH 10 Respectful Address
    10.1 Modifiers   
    10.2 Nouns   
CH 11 Retorts   
CH 12 Questions & Replies
    12.1 Common Questions
    12.2 Replies
CH 13 Toasts & Declamations
    13.1 Toasts   
    13.2 Declamations
CH 14  Contractions
CH 15  Arrgh
    15.1 Overview   
    15.2 Definitions 
    15.3 Other Noise Terms
CH 16 Cultural Terms
    16.1 Piracy
    16.2 Company & Crew
    16.3 Arms   
    16.4 Torture & Punishment  
    16.5 Food   
    16.6 Drink   
    16.7 Currency   
    16.8 Time   
    16.9 Distance   
    16.10 Other Units of Measurement   
    16.11 Women   
CH 17  Pronunciation
    17.1 Syllables   
    17.2 Consonants   
    17.3 Vowels
CH 18  Wrong Talk
    18.1 Basic Wrong Talk   
    18.2 Redundancy   
    18.3 Double Negative   
    18.4 Malapropism    
    18.5 Inconsistency    
CH 19  Conversions
    19.1 The Start
    19.2 The Echo
    19.3 The Sternfirst
CH 20  Structural Forms
    20.1 Split Phrase   
    20.2 Split Adjective   
    20.3 Word Order   
    20.4 Tmesis   
    20.5 Closing Repetition    
CH 21  Functional Forms
    21.1 Assertion   
    21.2 Negation   
    21.3 Inquiry   
    21.4 Reference   
    21.5 Characterization  
    21.6 Narration   
CH 22  Parts of Speech
    22.1 Nouns   
    22.2 Pronouns   
    22.3 Verbs   
    22.4 Adjectives   
    22.5 Adverbs   
    22.6 Prepositions   
    22.7 Articles   
APPENDIX A    Openers, Middlers & Closers 
APPENDIX B    Sound List
APPENDIX C    Pirate Company Articles

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