The Pirate Primer

Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues
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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 C Pirate Company Articles