Ahoy Mateys! Learn the Origins of the Pirate Accent

No, it’s not Talk Like a Pirate Day, but it is time to learn about the origins of the pirate accent – wait, is this a Disney thing?! Kind of.

Arrggggghhhh, there be trouble ahead, me shipmates! At one point or another, we’ve all talked like a pirate. Maybe we were imitating a movie, or perhaps somewhere along the way, we just learned it because it’s everywhere! But have you ever stopped to wonder where the pirate accent originated from?

The pirate accent might be the most famous accent around the world. There’s even a Talk Like a Pirate Day (which should really be a federal holiday, in my opinion). From pop culture to classic literature, pirate lore makes for fascinating stories. But that’s just it; we forget that everything we celebrate about pirates today came from actual events, including the accent.

In the video below, learn where the pirate accent originated. For example, did you know that most of what we consider pirate-speak today came from an actor, and not actual pirates? No, not Johnny Depp, you idiots! I’m talking about Robert Newton as Long John Silver in the 1950 Disney movie Treasure Island? Or that much of early pirate vocabulary came from the West Country in England? Find out everything you could ever want to know about the pirate accent:

The seafaring criminals known as pirates have existed for thousands of years. But because of the portrayals found in literature – or seen in films, TV shows, or on stage – much of what the general public thinks about pirates is likely historically inaccurate. Take for instance the pirate accent. Many believe the origin of the stereotypical pirate language is Robert Newton’s portrayal of the fictional pirate Long John Silver in the 1950 film Treasure Island. Since both Robert Louis Stevenson’s character and Newton himself were from the West Country region of England, the actor decided it would make sense to use an exaggerated version of his natural accent in his portrayal. And in the 70-plus years since then, a variation of Newton’s accent has been used in many portrayals of pirates.