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Pirate Cliches

Can you fill the blanks in these pirate-related phrases?
Quiz by ThirdParty
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Last updated: December 12, 2019
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First submittedFebruary 15, 2014
Times taken7,013
Average score62.5%
Rating3.64
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Cliché
Batten down the hatches!
Stand by to repel boarders!
Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen!
Thar she blows!
Land ho!
Fire in the hole!
Shiver me timbers!
Well, blow me down!
All hands abandon ship,
Women and children first!
Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
Cliché
Spanish pieces-of-eight
between the devil and the deep blue sea
a shot across the bow
give no quarter
dead men tell no tales
sent to Davy Jones's Locker
the Sun is over the yardarm
three sheets to the wind
kiss the gunner's daughter
walk the plank
sleep with the fishes
a letter of marque and reprisal
30 Comments
+4
Level 92
Mar 18, 2014
Not sure women and children first can be considered a pirate cliche; the Birkenhead Drill was a more... civilized... code of conduct.
+3
Level 45
Mar 18, 2014
I confess, I've mixed in some more generic naval phrases, to fill out the quiz.
+2
Level 95
Mar 27, 2020
While I agree it's not a pirate cliche, treating the lives of some people as more valuable than those of others on the basis of gender and age hardly qualifies as "civilized."
+1
Level 86
Sep 6, 2021
Only in the sense that it's something humans have in common with the rest of the animal kingdom. Protecting one's young and those capable of bearing them is a pretty basic animal instinct.
+2
Level 92
Feb 22, 2023
There's an oft-quoted anecdote where an anthropologist asserted that the first sign of civilization is not a tool, weapon, or artifact, but rather a femur that had broken, and then healed. The logic goes that in the animal kingdom if you break your leg, you die. A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone took time to stay with the victim, set the leg, and tended to them throughout their recovery. Putting other people's needs ahead of your own, especially those who are less able, is the epitome of civilization.
+5
Level 85
Mar 19, 2014
Thar she blows? Were pirates whalers in their spare time?
+3
Level 45
Mar 19, 2014
Long John Ishmael stalks the seven seas, looking for the whale that stole his treasure, singing "Yo-ho-ho and a barrel of chowder".
+1
Level 86
Sep 6, 2021
Hahahaha! "Long John Ishmael!" Love it!
+3
Level 83
May 18, 2016
Well, pirates tended to be any type of sailor who had become caught up in the "trade", so I imagine there were plenty of competent whalers among them.
+4
Level 84
Jun 13, 2014
Sleep with the fishes makes me think of American mafia, not pirates.
+5
Level 90
Jul 18, 2014
Isn't "fire in the hole" used by demolition crews blowing something up? For a pirate, "fire in the hole" will quickly lead to "abandon ship"
+3
Level 57
Sep 19, 2014
I believe that's a more modern use for it, but I'm pretty sure that phrase was used when firing the cannons.
+2
Level 75
Sep 19, 2014
I must confess I didn't get "Kiss the gunner's daughter" as I was totally thinking along other lines.
+2
Level 84
Mar 10, 2017
Yeah, I definitely didn't think "daughter".
+2
Level 27
Sep 19, 2014
I thought it would be either Heave Ho OR Land Ahoy
+1
Level 63
Sep 19, 2014
Missing my favorite: The beatings will continue, until morale improves
+2
Level 75
Sep 19, 2014
Happy "International Talk Like a Pirate Day", everyone! I enjoyed this even though the description needs to be changed a bit. (No "Arrr?") Check this out for some funny pirate sayings. http://www.talklikeapirate.com/howto.html#advanced
+1
Level 90
Sep 19, 2014
A letter of marque and reprisal is what made the difference between a dirty pirate and a respectable privateer. The US has not issued one for a couple centuries though. I know some folks would like to bring them back, especially to deal with modern pirates plying the waters near the Horn of Africa, modern day practitioners of a long and honored tradition.
+3
Level 70
Sep 19, 2014
I thought it was "fire in the hold".
+1
Level 37
Sep 19, 2014
I only got 14. Are some of these from the Disney movies? I haven't seen those.
+2
Level 77
Sep 19, 2014
Anybody want to see what makes me Roger so Jolly? lol. And other great pickup lines from website promoting TLAP day. Happy TLAP day people.
+1
Level 36
Sep 20, 2014
I had way more fun taking this than is probably normal..
+2
Level 79
Dec 19, 2015
"Well blow me ________!" I don't think we even need to be fill in the blank.
+2
Level 69
Jul 11, 2019
I tried sideways... I think I have heard that several times recently..
+1
Level 58
Mar 9, 2017
Damn. Not "fire in the hold."
+3
Level 83
Apr 12, 2017
Ha, you know you've been reading too much Jeeves and Wooster when you think "What ho!" rather than "Land ho!".
+3
Level 69
Aug 28, 2017
Many of these are... neither pirate nor cliches
+2
Level 69
Jul 11, 2019
yea, the questions are kind of... questionable... still fun to try and get em right though.

Got all but hatches, down, bow, boarders (tried enterers, cause a ship gets entered) sun and marque.

I guess hatches is known for some kind of popculture refernece? it is much higher than I would expect. Never heard of it.

And abandon ship is ridiculously low.

+1
Level 68
Dec 10, 2021
We use 'batten down the hatches' quite a bit in England in its original sense of get ready, protect yourself... the in-laws are arriving/it's about to pour with rain/the football stadium's about to empty onto the street.

Though we stop short of actually climbing thorugh a hole in the floorboards and nailing down the planks.

+1
Level 58
Apr 9, 2021
Fishies for Fishes? I've heard it be said as "Sleep with the fishies" as well.