Invented by two mates in 1995 as a gag, Talk Like a Pirate Day, on September 19, has become a treasured pretend-holiday in which everyone can be nonsensical. In truth actual pirates did not have their own lexicon, the crazy holiday is a chance to learn some history of the Golden Age Of Piracy in the 17th century when robbery on the high seas and at colonial ports in the Caribbean, the east coast of America, the eastern Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean.
On June 6, 1995, John Baur and Mark Summers were playing racquetball when they started saying “Arr!” when returning a volley. That quickly turned into other funny pirate-isms, like “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!” Baur and Summers had so much fun, they decided to make it an informal holiday among themselves and the people they knew. Summers chose September 19 because it was his ex-wife’s birthday (no joke).
Then, in 2002, Baur and Summers decided to expand the holiday. Enter famed humorist Dave Barry. In 2002, the duo sent their holiday idea to him on a whim and he liked it so much he wrote a whole column on the “new holiday” for the Miami Herald. From there, it swept the world like, well, a fire through the poop decks.
Pirates had extensive networks on land that kept them in touch with the outside world. They had a mail system of sorts (ships ferrying letters back and forth) that enabled them to communicate with relatives, and even a commuter service to take “retiring” pirates from their famous haunts in Madagascar to more mundane lives in America.
.Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains – and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. The pirates showed “quite clearly – and subversively – that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal navy.” This is why they were popular, despite being unproductive thieves.
Source: National Today; The Sun; Readers Digest; Georgetown Univ.