From their musical selections to their need to bury their treasure, much of what we've grown to love about these wild men -- and women -- of the sea isn't completely true. But as the nautical greatness that is International Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated on Sept. 19, go and spend a little time finding out about some of the pirate myths that might not hold as much water as you believe.
So take a break from your lookout duties, pull your friend off the plank and read through our list of five common pirate myths below. And if you want to, feel free to throw in one final "Arrggghhh" for dramatic effect.
1. Pirates Said Phrases Like "Ahoy Matey" And "Arrggghhh"
We've been led to believe that terms like and "Shiver Me Timbers" were pirate talk staples, but this simply isn't the case. Many of the classic pirate phrases, as well as tunes like "Fifteen Men on the Dead Man's Chest," were actually created by Robert Louis Stevenson for his novel "Treasure Island," Cracked details. Published in 1883, the book arrived more than 150 years after the Golden Age of piracy.
But for those looking to talk like a pirate in a more historically correct fashion, Time reports that you should be sure to slur your words as well as incorporate nautical talk. Check out the rest of its list here for a better understanding of true pirate dialect -- no "Shiver Me Timbers" allowed.
2. The Skull And Bones Was On All Pirate Ship Flags
You can't have a pirate ship without the skull and bones flag, correct?
Known as the Jolly Rodger, this well-known pirate generalization is totally incorrect. A boat flying a black flag was actually a positive sign since it meant that the pirates were willing to give quarter. The more ominous flag came in the form of the real Jolly Rodger flag that included an all-red design.
And from ship to ship, the designs of the black flags were greatly different. Skull and cross bones were actually used by a select few captains, with other flags featuring symbols like hourglasses and cutlasses. And in the case of the infamous pirate Blackbeard, he upped the drama just a tad more with a flag showing a skeleton stabbing a bleeding heart -- a ship you'd definitely want to avoid.
3. Pirates Buried Their Treasures Of Silver And Gold
Though some pirates like Captain William Kidd did bury their loot, this common myth isn't true for the most part, according to About. Pirates actually burned through most of their loot very quickly.
Plus, much of the treasure they found wasn't even in the form of gold or silver -- I know, another myth bites the dust. Since they would normally take ships delivering supplies to colonies, they had first dibs on items like soap, candles, food, lumber and cloth.
Not as exciting as tons of gold. But hey, they had to survive somehow.
4. There Were No Girls Allowed On Board
In many pirate movies, the only women aboard the pirate ships are those who have either been captured by the pirates or boarded the ship to complete a heroic feat. This is far from the reality for some ship crews that featured female pirates who were just as violent and tough as their male shipmates.
Though a rarity, ladies like Anne Bonny and Mary Read represented for the ladies, knocking down the myth that female pirates didn't exist.
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