International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2017: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

International Talk Like A Pirate Day, International Talk Like A Pirate Day origin, International Talk Like A Pirate Day creators

Getty A drawing of Capt. Edward "Blackbeard" Teach from 1715.

Today is September 19, which means it’s time for one of the most famous fake holidays out there, International Talk Like A Pirate Day! The holiday was created 22 years ago and is still going strong thanks to the enduring popularity of (fake) pirates. Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and ride have also kept the romantic view of pirates from the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s alive.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day was created by friends John Baur and Mark Summers. They sent their idea to Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Barry, who shared it in a September 2002 column. The holiday took off and we’re still celebrating it today. #TalkLikeAPirateDay is even trending on Twitter.

Here’s a look at the history of the holiday and pirates.

1. Krispy Kreme Discontinued Their Free Doughnut Talk Like A Pirate Day Deal for 2017

One of biggest reasons for International Talk Like A Pirate Day’s longevity is Krispy Kreme’s free doughnut promotion. Each year, Krispy Kreme customers who dressed like a pirate or talked like a pirate when ordering would get a free doughnut. However, this promotion isn’t running this year.

Krispy Kreme communications coordinator Sarah Roof told the Daily Press on September 5 that there will be no free doughnuts today because it is participating in other events. Local employees told the Daily Press that the pirate special was cancelled because of “real pirates” still out there in the world, but Roof denied this claim.

Roof said Krispy Kreme was instead focusing on its Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed Doughnut, which was only available on September 8.

Of course, if you still want a free doughnut, you can always sign up for Krispy Kreme Rewards.

2. John Baur & Mark Summers Created the Holiday on June 6, 1995, When They Randomly Decided to Use Pirate Slang

According to their website, Talk Like A Pirate Day was born as an idea on June 6, 1995, when friends John Baur and Mark Summers decided to talk like a pirate while playing racquetball in Oregon. They have have no idea why.

“On this day, for reasons we still don’t quite understand, we started giving our encouragement in pirate slang,” the two wrote. “Mark suspects one of us might have been reaching for a low shot that, by pure chance, might have come off the wall at an unusually high rate of speed, and strained something best left unstrained. ‘Arrr!,’ he might have said. Who knows? It might have happened exactly that way.”

After an hour of talking like this, they realized how fun it was to do and thought that we needed a new holiday called “Talk Like A Pirate Day.” However, they knew it couldn’t be on June 6, since that is the anniversary of D-Day.

They chose September 19, since that’s Mark’s ex-wife’s birthday!

3. Baur & Summers Shared Their Idea With Columnist Dave Barry, Who Shared Their Story in a 2002 Column

In 2002, columnist Dave Barry wrote “Arrrrr! Talk like a pirate — or prepare to be boarded.” Before then, the holiday had only circulated among Baur and Summers’ friends. Now, it became a true international holiday after Barry endorsed it.

“As you can see, talking like a pirate will infuse your everyday conversations with romance and danger,” Barry wrote. “So join the movement! On Sept. 19, do not answer the phone with ‘hello.’ Answer the phone with ‘Ahoy me hearty!’ If the caller objects that he is not a hearty, inform him that he is a scurvy dog (or, if the caller is female, a scurvy female dog) who will be walking the plank off the poop deck and winding up in Davy Jones’ locker, sleeping with the fishes.”

How did Barry find out about the holiday? In early 2002, Baur found Barry’s email and sent him a letter about it. Days after sending the email, Barry wrote back and really liked the idea. Barry wrote the column and the rest is history.

“I was just looking for a column, I had no idea what was going to become of it,” Barry told USA Today. “I’m pretty confident 50 years from now nobody will have any idea who I was, but people will still be celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

4. Pirates Didn’t Really Talk Like Baur, Summers & Millions of Others Think They Did

Sorry to burst your bubble, but as the National Geographic pointed out on 2011 Talk Like A Pirate Day, the way we imagine pirates talking in the 1500s or 1600s is pure fiction. They didn’t really use words like “avast” or say “arr” all the time, at least as far as historians know.

“There isn’t much in the way of scientific evidence in regards to pirate speech,” historian Colin Woodard, author of The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down, told the National Geographic in 2011. Woodard added that there’s no audio records of “pirate speech.” There is “almost nothing written by pirates themselves, with the exception of educated people who ‘went pirate’ and, therefore, probably didn’t exhibit pirate speech patterns,” he added.

Many of the phrases we think pirates used during the “Golden Age” of piracy can be traced to Disney’s 1950 film adaptation of Treasure Island. It was a huge hit and Robert Newton’s performance as Long John Silver left an irreplaceable image of what we think a pirate talks and looks like.

5. Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Franchise Has Grossed Over $4.5 Billion Worldwide

The “Golden Age” of piracy is popular internationally and there’s no better evidence of that than the popularity of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Fronted by Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, the series has grossed $4.5 billion worldwide, notes Box Office Mojo statistics.

Although the most recent film, this past summer’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, wasn’t as successful as the previous films, it still made $794 million worldwide. It made $172.5 million in the U.S. alone.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer told Yahoo Movies this month that he thought Pirates 5 still did “phenomenal.” He wasn’t sure if there will be a sixth movie though.

“Well, I hope we can continue to make it, but you know we’ve been having so much fun just promoting this one right now that we’ll just have to wait and see. Hopefully it’s very successful on DVD as the other ones have been,” the producer said. “Then hopefully we’ll sit down and see where we go.”