Start reading The Pirate Primer on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.
Read for Free
with Kindle Unlimited

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

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

George Choundas
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $19.99 What's this?
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $10.00 (50%)
Kindle Unlimited Read this title for free and get unlimited access to over 700,000 titles. Learn More

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $13.72  
Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

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:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,110 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 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
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 ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Entertaining May 14, 2007
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avast ye maties! An excellent read! April 22, 2007
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
19 of 22 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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teachers- Use this in your classroom! June 12, 2007
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
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 10 days ago by Patricia turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great gift for your pirate lover
Published 13 days ago by Jolyne Chacon
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrgh
My first copy was pilfered by a salt wench! I recommend her to your politeness but I must needs say she'll be meat fer sharks I catch her with her hand in my coffers again.
Published 28 days ago by Kevin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Its very detailed.
Published 1 month ago by Thomas Borge
5.0 out of 5 stars And for those who love ANY pyrate movie

Choundas has written an incredible book that is absolutely imperative for those of us living on the tide winds of pyrate lore! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christine Hanson
5.0 out of 5 stars fun book for pirate lovers
What a kick this book is and looks great in between the bookends with all our other pirate books in our "pirate décor" rec room. Read more
Published 2 months ago by kt
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, iffy printer
This is a good book. Very well put together. A lot of information as well as all the jargon you'd need to know to play pirate. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nathan Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Dictionary for Pirates
Great Book! Well written, full of example usages, well laid out, a true Dictionary for Pirates!
Published 2 months ago by Mad L
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A little confusing to use for a beginner. Should have got Speaking Pirate for Dummies.
Published 3 months ago by J. DeGraaf
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by C Sparrow
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category