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The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues [Kindle Edition]

George Choundas
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ebbry-blastin'-theng ye needs must know-oo to lay tongue liker aargh-thentic pirate, by the devil's twisted tail.

Take a tour through the world of piracy with the only authoritative work on the pirate language. A comprehensive course in pirate vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and syntax, The Pirate Primer contains three centuries of distinctive terms and usages uttered by (and attributed to) pirates in film, TV, literature, and history.

Discover more than 100 pages of threats, curses, oaths, insults, and epithets; 31 types of pirate drink; 60 different pirate terms for ''woman''; 67 kinds of pirate torture and punishment; 44 distinct definitions of ''aargh''; and more.

Each entry in the Primer is accompanied by an excerpt, so you can see the words and phrases used in proper context by actual pirates. And each linguistic concept is introduced by a related anecdote or narrative account, so you can live the language while you learn it.

Whether you're simply fascinated by the culture of the Brethren of the Coast or you fancy yourself a modern-day corsair, The Pirate Primer is your guide to authentic pirate speak. Should you ever stare down Davy Jones and he demands proof that you're one who flies no flag, despair not.

You'll be able to talk the talk, and no mistake.



Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Choundas lives and works in New York City. Educated at Emory University, he is a corporate litigator and former FBI agent. The Pirate Primer was inspired by a trolley ride he and his wife took in Key West, Florida during which a coarse shop owner charged after the sightseers on foot, swinging a cutlass and screaming pirate epithets.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1403 KB
  • Print Length: 487 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1582974896
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (March 15, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0033ZAVWG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,271 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Entertaining May 14, 2007
Format:Hardcover
A friend of mine (non-pirate) recommended this book, so I leafed through it without much expectation. Not being a fan of the genre, I expected to be none too interested. I was shocked to find that a couple of hours had passed when I looked back up! Really informative and, most importantly, fun to read. Great stuff. I've been recommending it highly to all my friends.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ye'll be a bold scug to say no to the Primer May 4, 2007
Format:Hardcover
George Choundas and the folks at Writers Digest Books have published a handsomely bound book that should grace your pirate library. The look and feel of this book is absolutely fabulous. I'm sure some will wait for a soft cover edition to be printed but if you are one of them you will miss out on one of the joys of this book. The illustrations on the end pages and quality of the paper used for the interior pages make this hard bound first edition a must. If this book comes out in soft cover, it will be impossible to duplicate this fine workmanship.

As the subtitle of the Pirate Primer suggest, the book deals with the language of pirates. However, in discovering the language; you do learn something of the pirate life, both in fact and fiction. Choundas does not limit himself to the language of actual pirates but tackles the language as presented in works of literature, motion picture and television. In every case, the author states the word or phrase, provides a short definition and then provides an example of how the word or phrase is used. Choundas provides a citation for the examples which inform the reader of where they came from.

The book does not stop there. It also includes an entire chapter on the most famous pirate word uttered; that being "arrrgh!" It will come as no surprise to most pirate enthusiasts that are smart as paint that real pirates didn't say "arrrgh!"

The book also includes a lexicon of nautical terms that are sure to please anyone who has ever tried to read a seafaring book. You'll also get a section on food, drink, weapons and women.

If this isn't enough, you'll learn a hundreds of ways to greet your fellow pirate, bid the same adieu, and curse or compliment him/her.
Read more ›
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Addition June 12, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great volume for a writer to add to his library. As people have probably mentioned, it's separated into handy categories such as "Retorts" and "Malapropisms." My only caveat for a writer of historical fiction is to watch out for the fictional sources, which seem to be the majority. I'm not sure how authentic they are and I'm wary of that. I'd stick with sources like "General History of the Pyrates," Woodes Rogers, Exquemelin, and William Dampier. I feel safe with Defoe and Marryat, as they were experienced seamen writing for contemporaries.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avast ye maties! An excellent read! April 22, 2007
Format:Hardcover
Ever wonder how in the world they come up with all that pirate lingo for movies like "Pirates of the Carribbean?" Wonder no more! This book is the definitive guide to pirate-speak. It details everything you would ever want to know about the eytmology, meaning, and use of all that pirate speak you've heard but can never adequate reproduce on your own. It is also filled with little-known facts and interesting stories about the pirating way.

Whether you are an aspirating pirate or an author or screenwriter needing to know the proper use of pirate speak this book is for you. The outline of the book is simple and indexed so well that you can always find exactly the term you need to define or the proper turn of phrase be it oath (burn and sink me), curse (you can up anchor and away to the devil), or respectful address (son of a sea dog). Additionally, the book's beautiful binding and pages (all the pages look like ancient parchment) makes this a great book to set out in your home or office as a facinating topic of conversation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teachers- Use this in your classroom! June 12, 2007
Format:Hardcover
You cannot believe the creative ways I've come up with to use this primer in my workshops on how to conduct English grammar lessons. By having a book that's so much fun (and so timely what with Johnny Depp looking adorable in dreadlocks and gold-filled teeth) ESL and native-language grammar pupils really sit up and take notice. I love the look and feel of this book, too, and apart from using it as a language tool, I'm sending it out as a gift to every 'pirate lover' I know! Unique and well done!

Review by author of Harlot's Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This is a unique and facinating book, the likes of which I had never known existed. I had no idea there was a "Pirate Language" any different than the English spoken by their countrymen at the time. The stories of the pirates themselves, both male and female, are savage, bloody and depraved: perfect summer reading material!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
THE PIRATE PRIMER: MASTERING THE LANGUAGE OF SWASHBUCKLERS AND ROGUES represents the only general reference to examine the language of pirates, offering up a pirate vocabulary complete with pronunciation and grammar. Three centuries of distinctive terms and usages from TV, literature and history blend into entries organized by 'oaths', 'commands', 'retorts' and more. Any writer involved in pirate representation needs thorough knowledge of the lingo, making THE PIRATE PRIMER a pick for any writer's library.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars neat book
This book is fun. Very happy to own it.
No problems. Fast shipping.
Published 4 days ago by jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Source of Piracy!
This book has a lot of amazing information in it! I've used it quite a bit while writing. The only thing I wish was different about it is that I wished it was more like a reverse... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Ellie Lynne
5.0 out of 5 stars Aargh ya ready to talk like a Pirate?
Really enjoy having this book on the end table. Easy to pick up and read and practice my Pirate rogue! Enjoy the look and feel of the book, very well made. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Goofy77
4.0 out of 5 stars Pirates Language
This is definitely insightful to terms and phrases that were used by Pirates, and even shows you where you can find the usages. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chevy
5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive for Pirates
A very well written dictionary which I can very much recommend for any self-respecting Pirate worth his weight in bounty.
Published 3 months ago by Cerdic
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrrghhh... Or is it yargh?
This is a great book, and don't be deceived in thinking it's just a phrase book. Lots of fun facts great for reading or parties or sept 19th
Published 4 months ago by Jonathon M Farmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource book!
Researching how pirates spoke during the golden age of piracy, this book was everything I could have wished for (and more. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SusanKL
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoist the Jolly Roger: It's a winner!
I gave this to a young and budding steampunk Pirate. He had been considering stealing it out of a friends library for some time. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Betty Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift
Really good quality. I was surprised by how nice it is. It just looks cool, too. Good value for the money. Decent size book
Published 7 months ago by b0623j
5.0 out of 5 stars ARGH!
A great read for you scuttlebutts! Very entertaining!! My family loves to read this and make pirate threats at each other. Buy this book or i'll peel you like a mango!
Published 11 months ago by Melinda Kelley
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