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Word for Wednesday: Ahoy 


Ahoy, me hearties!

As you may know, tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. The celebration was founded over twenty years ago in 1995 and is a fun way to raise money for charities by dressing up and talking like pirates. While participants are certainly not advised to take part in any of the gruesome aspects of piracy (no pillaging or plundering, please!), toy sword fights and elaborate costumes are widely encouraged. As well as, of course, showing off your best pirate lingo. 

While historically, there have been many different pirate dialects, children’s’ stories and franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean have promoted certain words and stereotypes – the use of the word ahoy being one of them. 

Ahoy dates to 1751, from 'a' (probably from the sound of someone exhaling) and the nautical call ‘hoy’ which was used during hauling. The original form of the greeting was ‘ho, the ship ahoy!’.

Before choosing ‘hello’, Alexander Graham Bell first suggested ahoy as the standard greeting when answering his new device the telephone. The word is still very evocative of the high seas and adventures into the unknown.

Will you be celebrating International Talk Like A Pirate Day tomorrow? What are some of your favourite pirate phrases? Let us know in the comments.  


 

 

 

Sources: Online Etymology Dictionary 

 


18 Sep 2019
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