Many of us have had the pleasure of meeting a real life pirate at a local Renaissance faire or other historical reenactment events. Now that social distancing is no longer a concern, it’s the perfect opportunity to engage in some role play. What might surprise you is just how much interaction there is between attendees at these events. Due to the nature of the gatherings, it wouldn’t be uncommon for pirates to end up in conversations with William Shatner, Jason Momoa, or one of the other Star Trek actors or characters. So in order to assist you in your quest for fame and fortune, we have compiled a comprehensive list of questions and answers regarding pirate etiquette. Read on for more information.
With the exception of Captain Jones (Jack Sparrow), the crew of the Black Pearl is known by their last name. This is in contrast to the standard naval tradition of referring to a crew member by their first name (Alicia would be addressed as “Alicia” even if her last name was Fuller). When speaking with a pirate by name, it is essential to maintain situational awareness and identify any other crew members that may be present. While there is no specific formula for saluting a pirate by name, it is generally considered an insult to fail to include the ‘sir’ suffix when addressing one.
If you want to avoid offense, it is best to refrain from referring to a pirate as a “captain”, even if the person being addressed is a commissioned officer in the Canadian Forces:
- If the person you are addressing is not a commissioned officer, use the term “pirate”
- If the person you are addressing is a commissioned officer in the Canadian Forces, use the term “mate”
- If you address a fellow crew member as “sir” or “ma’am” (or “sir” if the person is a woman), you can expect that they will respectfully refer to you by the same title
- Use “sir” or “ma’am” when addressing a fellow sailor, though it is not required
Technically speaking, a pirate can have a “real” name, but it is often a matter of choice whether or not to use it. In many cases, a pirate will take the surname of the ship they are serving on. This is typically derived from the name of the ship’s owner or from the name of a previous ship they were serving on. Another option is to take a new name, which can be an “honor” or a “slogan”, although this is less common.
A pirate is a member of a particular group or organization that is committed to committing acts of piracy against the ships and cargo of any nation that opposes them. Most notably, the United Kingdom and France engaged in many wars against the pirates of Nassau, who were based out of Port Royal in Jamaica. In return for military support, the pirates of Nassau were granted a trading post on the British Mainland, which later became the City of London. The organization and its members are often referred to as “the Pirates’ Fleet” or “the Flying Pirate Fleet”. In modern times, the term “pirate” is often used interchangeably with “privateer”, though the two terms describe different types of individuals and activities. A privateer is someone or a company that takes on the role of a pirate as a for-profit enterprise. A privateer will often seek to profit from the acts of piracy they commit, as this is the most practical and efficient way of doing business. The most famous privateer was the “Ocean Greyhound”, a British vessel that was actively involved in the Battle of Trafalgar during which time it captured over a dozen ships, including three Spanish Navy vessels and the French Navy’s “La Princesse”.
The price of a boat can vary quite a bit, depending on the size, model, and whether or not it is in excellent condition. If you are looking to have some fun on the water, it is best to buy a boat that is in good condition and has the capacity to carry at least four people. These are just some general guidelines, as you can always rent a boat if you do not own one.
Yes, the rules of piracy still apply. During the time of Jack Sparrow (Captain Jack), the most notorious pirate in the Caribbean, you would address him as “sir” or “ma’am” (if he was a woman). Upon meeting the real life Captain Jack, you might also find yourself referred to as a “scallywag” or “pirate”. This is a term that is still in use today and refers to someone who flouts the rules of proper conduct and behaves in a boisterous and disreputable manner. This often-derogatory term can be applied to both men and women, though women are rarely if ever referred to as “pirates”.
Most importantly, throughout the ‘Golden Age’ of Piracy, a “scallywag” would never set foot on land and would instead remain in their boats, where they could be easily destroyed by the military forces of any civilized country. Today, this is still a common occurrence and many of the world’s most famous pirates still guard their reputations jealously and refuse to give interviews or appear in documentaries, choosing instead to remain hidden from the public eye.
With the evolution of communications technology and the rise of social media, it is now possible to keep tabs on what is going on with even the most infamous pirates. Through various online forums and forums dedicated to shipwrecks and maritime history, it is possible to learn the full stories behind the fabled pirate lords and to find out what has become of those who went down in battles or traded in lives. Though it is difficult to believe, it is now possible to track these men and women who lived by a code of conduct that no longer exists. Perhaps one day, we will learn the fate of our favourite rogue sea captains and their amazing adventures.