Blackbeard Quick Fact #4: The truth about Pirate Speak with book excerpt!

In the days leading up to the release of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure (April 28,2016 – Black Rose Writing), I am going to give my readers–or anyone with interest in the legendary pirate–some of the notes I took as part of my research for the novel.

These notes will lay the background for Blackbeard, many of which did not make it into the novel. For the items that did make it into the novel, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers. You can read all of the facts here. 

With this post, I decided to give you my first excerpt from the novel. Here, the two protagonists, Darwin and Lucas, are speaking to Hugo Riddick for the first time. He is a pirate impersonator who possesses a wealth of knowledge about Blackbeard. Darwin and Lucas will soon learn there is more to him than meets the eye.

Here, Riddick tell’s you the truth about “Pirate Speak.”

Quick Fact #4

“So, do you add in phrases such as walk the plank, yaargh, keel haul, shiver me timbers and other pirate lingo?” Darwin asked.

Riddick waived his hand dismissively. “No, pirates didn’t talk like that.”

“They didn’t?” Darwin said.

“No,” Riddick said. “Those are nothing more than a theatrical construct. There was a movie in the early fifties called Blackbeard the Pirate. An actor by the name of Robert Newton portrayed Blackbeard in that movie. He added the pirate speak to make his character more endearing and stand out.”


“Yeah, other writers, actors and impersonators saw how well that came across, and it didn’t take long for “pirate talk” to be adopted everywhere. I try to be as accurate as I can, and therefore abstain from the use of it. I want for the people who see when I make appearances to get a performance as close to the real Blackbeard as I can.”

“So, in your own way, while you’re there to entertain, you’re also trying to educate at the same time?” Lucas asked.

Hugo made another salute with his now near empty bottle of beer. “Exactly. I feel as though I’d be doing a disservice otherwise. Been doing it ever since.”


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