International Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The day was created in 1995 by two friends, John Baur and Mark Summers, who thought it was a fun language to use while playing racquetball. You can read more about their story on their official website. The popularity of the day grew when Dave Barry, a newspaper humor columnist, wrote an article in 2002 about International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Here at Prairie State, explore pirates through history and fiction. We have a wide variety of formats including audio, video, books, and articles.


These four books are all available for checkout at Prairie State. In Pirates: Terror on the High Seas, explore the history of pirates through pirate art and artifacts. Maybe you’d like to read some fiction instead? Prairie State has three books on the shelf that may interest you. The classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson tells the story of how a treasure map was found in the belongings of a dead man, and the story of those who traveled across high waters to find the pirate’s treasure.

Looking for something more modern? Try Elmore Leonard’s Djibouti, the story of documentary filmmaker Dara and her assistant Xavier (a 72-year-old African-American seafarer) who travel to Djibouti in Africa to create a film about real-life pirates who hijack ships.

For a historical novel set in 1689 filled with spies, pirates, mutiny, and adventure, try Neal Stephenson’s The Confusion.

Pirates Treasure Island Djibouti The Confusion

Looking for a reference book about pirates in today’s world? Check out Modern Piracy by David Marley, which covers the history of piracy until more recent events.

Audio/Visual Materials About Pirate Day!

Would you like to listen to an interview about International Pirate Day? Click here to find an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition which aired on September 19, 2007. Don’t have a login for Prairie State? Click here to listen to the audio file on the NPR website directly.

Maybe you’re not up for reading anything. Here’s a video with the original creators of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, as they instruct you about how to speak pirate.


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