BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The day when you’re more than likely to hear an “avast matey” shouted from the street, or even more eloquently put “Yarrgh.”
Maryland has its own history with pirates.
According to Maryland State Parks, the many coves of Maryland’s Assateague Island saw pirates, possibly the likes of Edward “Blackbeard” Teach and John “Calico Jack” Rackham, among its early visitors, as was the case for many barrier islands along the Mid-Atlantic coast.
While the pirates probably didn’t come ashore to bury treasure on Assateague, it is likely that the bays were used to repair ships while the they looted.
The spoof holiday was created in 1995 by John “Ol’ Chumbucket” Baur and Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers of Albany, Oregon, during a game of racquetball. One of the men let out an “Arrr!” in reaction to an injury, and the idea spawned from there.
Originally an inside joke between friends, in 2002 Baur and Summers sent a letter about the holiday to humor columnist , Dave Barry, who liked the idea so much, that he began promoting the day. Barry would later appear in Baur and Summers’ “Drunken Sailor Sing Along A-Go-Go” video.
Increasing coverage throughout the years has turned that inside joke into an international success with Baur and Summers selling books, t-shirts, and other merchandise on their website.
“We have been amazed, thunderstruck even, by the response to Talk Like a Pirate Day” Baur said on his website. “Our timbers have been thoroughly shivered.”
The holiday has seen official recognition from the state of Michigan. Google and Facebook have also both added “Pirate” as a language option for users.