Argonaut’s Pirate Dictionary

Have ye ever wanted to speak like a real corsair??? Have ye ever longed fer th’ days o’ buccaneers ‘n bands o’ scurvy pirates roamin’ th’ seven seas??? Then come along ‘n be learnin’ th’ tongue o’ th’ swashbucklers!!! Glean all ye need to be knowin’ from our glossary o’ nautical words, terms ‘n phrases in th’…

Argonauts Pirate Dictionary


  • Addled ad-dled adj. Mad, insane, stupid, foolish. see also addlepate
  • addlepate ad-dl-pay-tt noun. Fool, idiot, dimwit.
  • Aft ah-fft adverb. At, close to or toward the stern or tail.
  • Ahoy ah-hoye interj. Used to call hail to another ship or attract attention.
  • Avast av-ahst interj. Used to call for immediate attention or summons, could also be taken to mean ‘Who goes there?’ or ‘Stop that!’
  • Aye eye adverb. Affermitive. Yes. Right away.
  • Azdren


  • Barbary Coast bar-bary khost noun. The Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Historically, a safe haven for pirates of all kinds.
  • Begad bee-Gahd interj. By God!
  • Bejuka
  • Belay bee-leigh verb. 1.To fasten (rope) by winding around a pin or short rod. 2. Stop, cease, desist. 3. To waylay or delay.
  • Bilge Bill-jh noun.  1. Either of the rounded areas that form the transition between the bottom and the sides on the exterior of a hull. Also, bilges in a hull with a double bottom, are an enclosed area between frames at each side of the floors where seepage collects. 2. Nonsense, foolish talk.
  • Black Spot blak-sp-ott noun. A mark conferring judgement and sentencing upon the pirate it is given to.  A death sentence.
  • Blaggard bl-lag-are-red noun. A scoundrel; an unprincipled contemptible or untrustworthy person.
  • Blimey bligh-me  interj. An exclamation of shock or surprise.
  • Booty boo-tee noun. Loot or plunder.
  • Bosun boe-son noun. Abbreviated form of Boatswain, a naval petty officer.
  • Bow. Bo-we noun. The front or fore area of a ship.
  • Buckobuhk-oh noun. Slang. A swaggering fellow.


  • Cap’n cap-en noun. Slang. An abbreviated form of the title Captain.
  • Careen kuh-reen verb. To intentionally lay the ship on her side on a beach to allow for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Cat o’nine tails kat-uh-nahyn-teylz noun. A series of often knotted cords fastened to a handle, used for flogging.
  • Chantey shan-tee noun. A song sung by sailors to keep rhythm during work.
  • Corsair kawr-sair noun. A pirate, especially one hailing from the Barbary Coast.
  • Crow’s Nest kro-ez ness-st noun. The cradle placed in the uppermost of the mast. Used to house the crewmen assigned to keep watch for ships and land.


  • Davy Jones’ Locker day-vee john-ziz lok-ker noun. the ocean floor, especially in regard to the grave of those who perish at sea.
  • Deadlights ded-lahyt noun. 1. A thick pane of glass set in the hull or deck to admit light. 2. Eyes.
  • Dead men tell no tales ded mehn tel no tal-es idiom. Pirate expression meaning that no survivors should be left to later accuse them of wrongdoing.
  • Dog dog noun. insult. A disreputable or scandalous individual.
  • Doubloon duh-bloon noun. A former gold coin of Spain and Spanish America, originally equal to two escudos but fluctuating in value.
  • Drak



  • Fair winds idiom. To say goodbye while also wishing favorable condition and overall good luck.
  • Fore for adverb. Towards or otherwise pertaining to the front of the ship.
  • Flogging flawg verb. To flay with a whip, stick or cane,;especially as punishment.
  • Furl ferl verb. To roll or coil in order to secure.  see also unfurl.


  • Gangplank gang-plangk noun. A long board used to bridge the gap between the gangway and docks when anchored at a pier. see also Walk the plank.
  • Gangway gang-wey noun. An opening in the railing or bulwark of a ship, as that into which a gangplank fits. interj. clear the way!
  • Godspeed god-speed noun. good fortune and quick success.
  • Grub gruhb noun. slang. food; victuals.


  • Haken
  • Hands hand-ez noun. Crew, sailors.
  • Handsomely han-suhm-lee adj. Quickly, with great speed and gusto.
  • Heave heev verb. To put effort into raising or hoisting. As in ‘Heave to!’
  • Hold hohld noun. The space between a ships outer hull and her lowermost deck. Used for storing cargo or prisoners.
  • Hornswoggle hawrn-swog-uhl verb. To swindle, hoodwink or otherwise cheat. see also Hornswoggler.
  • Hornswoggler hawrn-swog-uhl-er noun. One who makes a living by cheating others.



  • Jack Ketch kech noun. A public hangman.
  • Jolly Boat jol-lie bo-oht noun. A light boat carried at the stern of a larger sailing vessel.
  • Jolly Roger jol-ley rod-jer noun. A flag flown by pirates, most often having a variation on the motif of a white skull and crossbones on a black field.


  • Keel keel noun. The main support beam running under the ship.
  • Keelhaul keel-hawl verb. 1. To haul an offender under the bottom of a ship and up on the other side as a punishment. 2. To rebuke severely.
  • Kiss the gunner’s daughter kis gun-ner-ez daw-ter verb. slang. To be tied over a cannon, also known as the gunner’s daughter, in order to be beaten or flogged.
  • Kra-taten: Krah-tah-ten adj. Explative, 1. Stupid, lacking in wit or foresight. 2 Damned.


  • Landlubber land-luhb-er noun. An unseasoned sailor or someone unfamiliar with life at sea.
  • Lights lahyts noun. plural. The lungs, especially livestock.
  • Line lahyn noun. A rope or cable used as part of the ship’s rigging.
  • Lookout look-out noun. 1.The act of looking out or keeping watch. 2. A station or place from which a watch is kept.
  • Lubber see Landlubber.


  • Mast mahst noun. A structure rising above the hull and upper portions of a ship or boat to hold sails, rigging and booms.
  • Maroon muh-roon verb. To put ashore and abandon on a desolate island or coast as punishment.
  • Matey mey-tee noun. Shipmate, friend, buddy.
  • Mizzenmast miz-zen-mahst noun. The aft located mast on a ship of ketch classification or larger.
  • Mutiny myoot-n-ee noun. A revolt or rebellion against the current authority, especially by sailors against their superior officers.



  • Oddits: Od-dits adj. 1. Strange, unusual.  verb. 2. Perplexing, baffling.


  • Piece of eight pi-ces aih-ht noun. A Spanish coin worth one peso or 8 reals. It was sometimes literally cut into eight pieces for easy division among the crew, each piece was worth one real.
  • Pillage pil-ij verb. To ruthlessly strip anything of monetary value with open violence, plunder.
  • Pirate pahy-ruht noun. An individual or crew who engage in robbery or otherwise commit illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.
  • Plank plangk noun. see Gangplank.
  • Poop Deck po-op dek noun. The deck on top of the poop.
  • Poop po-op noun. The superstructure at the stern of a vessel.
  • Port pohrt noun. The left side of the ship when facing her bow.
  • Poxed pok-sed adj. Diseased, plague ridden.
  • Privateer prahy-vuh-teer noun. The crew of a privately owned and operated ship or fleet of ships funded by one government to attack and harass the ships of another.


  • Quartermaster kwawr-ter-mah-ster noun. An officer responsible for rationing dispensing food and equipment aboard a pirate vessel. Second in command under the Captain and traditionally the only position voted on by the crew aside from Captain.


  • Rigging rig-ing noun. The ropes used to support and work the masts and sails on a ship. verb. The employment of these things to manipulate the sails.


  • Sail ho sa-le hoe interj. “I see a ship!” The sail, of course, is the first part of a ship visible over the horizon.
  • Salt sawlt noun. A sailor, particularly an experienced one. As in, ‘an old salt’.
  • Scurvy skur-vee 1. noun. A disease marked by swollen and bleeding gums as well as dark spots on the skin, due to a diet lacking in vitamin C. 2. adj. A derogatory term used as an epithet. eg ‘Ye scurvy bilge rats!!!’
  • Scuttle skuht-l noun. A small hatch or port of a vessel. verb. To deliberately sink or otherwise destroy a vessel.
  • Sea dog cee dawg noun. 1. An able sailor. 2. Slang for a pirate or privateer.
  • Shipshape ship-sheyp adj. In good order, tidy or well groomed.
  • Shiver me timbers Sh-iv-eer me tim-burs interj. An expression of surprise or strong emotion.
  • Smartly smahrt adj. Quickly, with haste. eg ‘Move smartly ye dogs.’
  • Splice the mainbrace sp-lie-ce thah mayne-bray-ce A euphemism for authorized celebratory drinking after a hard job or battle.
  • Spyglass spie-gl-ass noun. A telescopic instrument used by sailors to see distant ships or landmasses..
  • Starboard stahr-bohrd noun. The right side of the ship when you are facing toward her bow.
  • Stern sturn noun. The aft or rear part of a ship.
  • Struka
  • Strumpet strump-pet noun.  A prostitute or promiscuous woman.
  • Sutler suht-ler noun. A merchant selling what a ship needed for supplies and repairs.
  • Swab swahb 1. noun. A disrespectful term for a seaman. 2. verb. To clean or scrub something.
  • Swag sch-wag noun. Loot. See also Booty


  • Tack tak noun. Position of the ship in relation to the trim of it’s sails. verb. 1. To alter course.  2. To alternate the tack of the ship in order to sail against the wind.
  • Three Sheets To The Wind \ idiom.  To be intoxicated, perhaps excessively so.


  • Unfurl un-ferl verb. To unroll or uncoil in order to make use of.  see also furl.


  • Voten


  • Walk The Plank wok thah plangk idiom. To be forced to walk to one’s death by marching off the gangplank extending from the ship’s side over the water instead of dock or dry land.
  • Wench wen-ceh noun. 1. A working girl. 2. A term for a woman, usually derogatory. verb. To associate with working girls, esp. habitually. As in ‘The sailor likes to go wenching.’





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