A PIRATE GLOSSARY

Document Sample
A PIRATE GLOSSARY Powered By Docstoc
					A PIRATE GLOSSARY OF SEA TERMS A pirate had to be tough. A pirate told his prisoner, captain William Snelgrave ‘’ I will give you this warning… never argue with a pirate. For, suppose I had chopped your skull in two for your cheek, what would you have got? Nothing but destruction.’’ They also had their own sayings and words: Pirate phrases Ahoy - call to attract someone’s attention, something like shouting 'Hello, there!' Avast - nautical term meaning stop what you are doing, it was thought to have come from the phrase 'hold fast'. Heave to – stand still Quarter – when a pirate gave ‘quarter’ it men at that they would show mercy. No quarter meant that no-one would be spared. 'Scurvy dog'- an insult meaning you are weak Scuttle the ship – put a hole in it and sink it Shiver me timbers – a phrase that shows shock or surprise. The idea of timbers shivering comes from the shaking sent up in the mast (timbers) when the ship runs aground or is hit by the enemy. To go on account – Phrase used by pirates to describe the act of turning towards piracy

Every day language Anchor - a heavy weight, often shaped with hooked ends, lowered into the water to keep a ship in one place. Ballast - stones or other heavy objects placed in a ship's hold to help it keep a stable upright position. Becalmed – this occurs when there is no wind and the ship cannot sail. Belay - to tie a rope end. Black Jack - a leather tankard, made stiff with a coating of tar, used by pubs and taverns to serve wine and beer. Bilge - the lowest part of the ship. Bilge water is the blackish sea water that would collect there. Booty or loot – Treasure, gold or money taken illegally. Bounty – Reward or payment. Careen - cleaning a ship's hull of barnacles, seaweed and marine worms. The ship would be docked to enable the crew to scrap off all of these as they slowed the ship down when travelling through the water. Cutlass - a short, curved, thick sword, that was useful for slashing the rigging when boarding another ship. Doubloon - gold coin worth about seven weeks pay for an average sailor. Flogging - punishment in which a man was whipped on his naked back

Gibbet - a wooden frame from which dead pirates were hung, often in a metal cage especially fitted for the pirate, as a warning to any others who would think of taking up a career of piracy Gunport - a hole, sometimes with an opening shutter, for a cannon to fire through Handing a sail - rolling a sail up Helm - tiller or wheel used to steer ship Helmsman - the person who steers the ship Hold - the cargo area of a ship below the main deck Jolly Roger - the pirate flag with its skull and cross bones. Letters of Marque - proof that a pirate/privateer is sponsored by a particular government. Masthead - the top of a mast Piece of Eight - Spanish silver coin, or old Spanish peso, often cut into pieces to make change. Ponton - an English prison on board a ship where captured pirates were held. Poop Deck - The deck that is furthest back on a ship. Prize - a captured ship Quarterdeck - highest deck at the rear of the ship, ship's officers would often stand on the quarterdeck to keep an eye on the crew.

Scurvy - a disease that many of the crew would get as they didn’t eat fresh fruit. It made them weak and their gums bleed. Seams - the line where the ship's planks joined, if not sealed properly the ship would leak Setting a sail - letting the sail down, the opposite of handing Slops - trousers Sprung seam - a seam that is no longer sealed and is leaking Swabbie – a pirate whose job it was to swab the deck to clean off all the blood and guts after a fight. The swab was a mop made of rope ends or thread. Tiller - a pole attached to the rudder of a ship, used for steering the ship Topman - sailor in charge of the topsails