Ahoy, ye scurvy knaves!

It be annual Talk Like a Pirate Day. So find ye here the link to the event’s official website, as well as their handy English-to-Pirate translator.

Pen-and-ink drawing of two white women in male dress with swords, ships in the background.

Anne Bonny and Mary Read from A General History of the Pyrates. Courtesy Douglas Library, Queen’s University.

Fuelled partly by the deep horror I experienced when friends told me about taking their little nephews to a pirate party, “but they had princess pirates, too, so the girls would have something to dress up as” (aaaagggrrh, for real), I thought this would be a good time for a links round-up of the history of women who actually were pirates. These are just the ones who are mentioned most often.

Grace O’Malley – Queen of Connaught.

Madam Ching Shih – more like a pirate admiral, she commanded as many as 80,000 pirates around the China Sea in the early 19th century.

Anne Bonny and Mary Read – the original Pirates of the Caribbean.

Alvilda – commanded a whole ship of female pirates in 5th century Scandinavia.

Dorianne the Pirate has written up a lively list of lasses from pirating history, with plenty of links.

So enjoy your arghs and aye ayes, and please tell us about any related events you may be attending, have heard about, or imagine would be a fun way to commemorate the occasion, if we had that kind of time. Me, I just plan to drink rum.

Here is a bonus xkcd comic about the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Group of six white women in various approximations of 18th century pirate costume.

The women of the Seattle Swashbucklers - I bet they'll be having a great day today.

Categories: fun & hobbies, history

Tags: , , ,

5 replies

  1. There are 98 blaggards who need to be keel hauled in Parliament today. Or at least spoken to in a rather cross manner. Oooh arrr.

  2. Sorry to be pedantic, but Grace O’Malley was never a ‘pirate’.
    She was a maritime chieftain at a time in which her clan territory was coming under escalated attacks by English expansion into the west of Ireland. The forces she commanded engaged in maritime battles with the English to protect the shipping lanes and trading enterprises her clan had controlled for centuries.
    The ‘pirate’ label was used by the English as a derogatory term to discredit her legitimacy. She was no more a pirate than William Wallace was a ‘terrorist’.

  3. What a good week to start a course on the software R…

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