Friday, July 3, 2009

Pirate Talk 101: Important Part - Retorts

Retorts express surprise, ridicule, indignation or agreement of insults, epithets, curses or oaths.

Five General Forms:

Ain’t you the ADJECTIVE one?
Used with an adjective that mocks.
Ain’t you the pretty one.

Repeats the verb and subject from the insult/epithet/etc. to form a question.
And do ye so? And will he so?

The devil SUBJECT + VERB
The devil they have. The devil they do.

Don’t ye now?

So now you’re + VERB PHRASE are ‘ee?
So now you’re askin’ me to trust you, are ‘ee?



Be you out of your head?

Are you crazy?

Do you threaten?

Response to a threat

Explain your meaning

What do you mean?


Take insult as compliment

Have you gone daft?

Have you lost your mind?

I admire your spirit much more that your discretion

Response to bold or assertive statement

I do my possible, which that ain’t

That is out of the question.

I ___ for no man, few women, and take orders from neither

Response to a command.

It is of no account/matter

It doesn’t matter

Passion is an ill word to steer by

Retort to hot-tempered remark

That’d be so?


That’s your sort, is it?

That’s what you’re like

‘tis a foul tongue yours

Response to profane, uncivil, uncouth

‘tis joy to me

That makes me happy.


The things you speak of do not matter.

What mean you by this?

What is that supposed to mean?

What of it?

So what?

Who be you?

Who do you think you are?

You shall VERB with the devil

Go VERB in hell

You’re a diamond

You’re the best.

You’re a EPITHET to give me those words

See Epithets Table

You’re full of prating

You’re babbling

You’re neither mad nor a fool and yet talk like both

Crazy and stupid

You’re not talking to low sailor hand

Who do you think you are talking to

You’re overly apt with your tongue

You talk too much

You’ve the tongue of some fouled scupper

You have a filthy mouth

This primer was summarized from the book "The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues" by George Choundas and available here.

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