Talk Like a Pirate Day: September 19, 2023

Ahoy, mateys! Today be Chatter Like a Pirate Day, so we celebrate the world o’ make-believe by roundin’ up some pirate books and learnin’ the hair-raisin’ tales o’ some real-life pirates…

Since 1995, September 19 has been a day to natter n' chatter like a real pirate. But the true history of piracy runs much deeper than this fun and silly holiday. Have you ever heard these real-life pirate facts and stories?

  1. Some governments would privately endorse pirates in wartime, sanctioning them to raid and disarm enemy ships (This even happened in the American Revolution!)
  2. Grace O’Malley, one of the most famous female Irish pirates, was not just a criminal, but a revolutionary! She successfully defended her Irish coasts from English colonizers in the 16th century and was a revered military and government leader. She would even meet with Queen Elizabeth I to draft a treaty on Irish-British relations.
  3. Fellow pirates indeed held an honor code to warn one another of impending death by issuing a note with the “black spot.” 
  4. Bristol-born Blackbeard was perhaps the most notorious pirate of all time! He even stands as the villain of the musical prequel Pan
  5. Although coins could be shared easily and chests of gold and jewels precious, the most valuable pirates’ treasure were maps, which would be printed at high cost or stolen from other pirates. The maps rarely led the way to a pirate’s doubloon, as you may have read in Treasure Island, but were simply geographically accurate maps that would guide pirates around the shifty seas. 


Interested in learning more? Parents can check out adult-directed information here and here, while kids may enjoy the Horrible Histories version a bit more. 


Check out our fun printable pirate packet here!


We hope these books will get your p-arr-ty going!



Natalie Varker is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library and a full-time student at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. She is studying elementary education and is especially passionate about child growth and development, special education, and children’s literature. Her free time is spent reading, watching, and talking about her favorite rom-coms.


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