Another name for food.
Rats that swarmed in the bilge of a ship. Also a derogatory aspersion pirates cast upon one another.
Bite the Bullet:
Pirates or captives being flogged would be given a bullet to bite on to keep them from screaming.
Any goods, money, or supplies obtained illegally.
Bumboo or Bombo:
A sweet and potent mixture of water, nutmeg, sugar, and rum.
A watery gruel flavored with sugar, salt, and butter, often serving as a pirate's breakfast.
Fiddlers who served aboard pirate ships.
Cat o' Nine Tails:
A short wooden stick or handle with nine knotted ropes, each 18 inches long, secured to its end and used for flogging.
The act of pursuing prostitutes.
A long-stemmed clay pipe up to 16 inches long, typically smoked by pirates visiting taverns or punch houses.
Cut and Run:
Pirates in need of a hasty retreat would cut the sail lashings or anchor cables to enable a ship to speed away.
Davy Jones' Locker:
Pirate term for someone ending up at the bottom of the ocean. Also used as a threat of death or when speaking of a pirate nearing death.
A hot mixture of a small or light beer combined with sugar and brandy.
A term pirates used as an offer for their victims to surrender.
A typical reference to alcohol, usually rum or watered-down rum.
Biscuits eaten aboard a pirate ship, typically infested with weevils and other critters.
Hit the Deck:
A literal term which meant avoiding swivel guns, or small cannon at the rail of a ship or artillery coming from an opponent.
In the Same Boat:
Often interchangeable with “grin and bear it.” A phrase meaning that pirate crews were in the same boat and situations together.
A lethal rum punch enjoyed by pirates who visited Port Royal, Jamaica.
Know the Ropes:
Being familiar with all the ropes and riggings of a ship.
Term for a sailor getting his sea legs or individuals who don't often sail.
Let the Cat Out of the Bag:
The removal of the cat o' nine tails from a leather bag prior to flogging.
Loaded to the Gunwalls:
Pirate term for excessive drinking.
Literal term aboard a pirate ship that meant an unsecured cannon.
On an Even Keel:
Term meaning a vessel that sailed steady without any threat of “keeling over.”
On the Account:
Once a pirate signed a ship's articles he would have to account for his own illegal actions if caught, and would be paid only when there was booty to share.
Over a Barrel:
Term describing victims of flogging who were often tied to inanimate objects, like a gun barrel, prior to whipping.
Pissing More than He Drinks:
Pirate term for someone who boasts too much. Sometimes called a
Piss Money Against a Wall:
Pirate term for spending booty on alcohol.
A favorite pastime of all pirates. Also called whores and strumpets.
Another name for a brothel.
Rub Salt into the Wound:
The practice of pouring salt over victims' wounds after they've been flogged.
A favorite pirate drink, usually served hot, which contained a blend of sugar, beer, gin, sherry, and raw eggs.
A mix-and-match meal consisting of boiled onions and salt fish. Often added were available meats, anchovies, eggs, oil, wine, and various types of marinated shellfish.
A term used to describe the body of a hanged pirate that was left hanging as a warning to other pirates.
A piratical reference describing the way the body of a hanged man tended to swing back and forth.
The Cat Has Kittened in My Mouth:
A pirate's description of the bad taste in his mouth after a night of drinking.
Three Sheets to the Wind:
Pirate term for excessive drinking.
Walking the Plank:
One of the great pirate myths. An alleged punishment in which victims were blindfolded, then forced to walk across a plank hanging from the side of the ship.