≡ Menu

Pirate and Nautical Glossary

 

Pirates

  • Ahoy there! – a pirate greeting to say hello – pg. 67
  • Anchor – a heavy device that is attached to a ship or boat by a rope or chain and cast into the water to help hold the vessel in one place – pg. 27
  • Anchors away! – when the anchor is clear of the ship’s bottom and the boat is officially underway. Originally spelled “anchors aweigh.” – pg. 73
  • Bail water – to use a container to remove water from a boat – pg. 35
  • Bait – food or lure placed on a hook or in a trap used to attract fish – pg. 52
  • Batten down the hatches – seal the hatches before the arrival of a storm – pg. 33
  • Boatload – an indefinitely large number – pg. 10
  • Buoyedto keep afloat – pg. 47
  • Capsize – when a boat overturns in the water – pg. 21
  • Captain – one who commands or leads a ship – pg. 31
  • Compass – an instrument used to determine geographic location using a rotating magnetized needle – pg. 57
  • Dinghy – a small boat dispatched from a larger ship – pg. 66
  • Drop anchor – to let down the anchor and moor the ship – pg. 73
  • Eye patch – a protective covering worn over one eye – pg. 33
  • Heave ho! – to raise or lift with effort or force – pg. 43
  • Hoist – to lift something heavy – pg. 86
  • Hoist the sails – to raise the sails on a ship or boat – pg. 43
  • Isle – a small island or peninsula – pg. 73
  • Jolly Roger  – the skull and crossbones on a pirate’s flag
  • Land ho! – a pirate expression to signal the sighting of land in the distance – pg. 66
  • Landlubber – A person unfamiliar with the sea or sailing – front matter quote by Eric A. Kimmel
  • Life preserver – a flotation device in the shape of a ring, belt, or jacket designed to keep a person afloat – pg. 27
  • Loot – valuables and/or treasure – pg. 29
  • Mariner – a sailor – pg. 47
  • Map – a large piece of paper, canvas, or fabric indicating the earth’s surfaces – pg. 57
  • Matey – a pirate greeting to friends – pg. 73
  • Message in a bottle  – a form of communication whereby a message is sealed in an airtight container and released to sea – pg. 61
  • Navigate – to move on, over or through water, air, or land in a ship or aircraft – pg. 20
  • Navy – the military organization of a nation to defend a country by sea – pg. 31
  • Offshore – situated at sea some distance from the shore – pg. 85
  • Open seas – an expanse of sea away from land – pg. 73
  • Pirate – a person who attacks and takes treasures from other ships at sea
  • Porthole – a small, round window in the side of a ship or aircraft – pg. 27
  • Ran aground – when a ship becomes stuck in shallow waters – pg. 45\
  • Rogue wave – an unpredictable, abnormally large wave – pg. 35
  • Sail – to go on a voyage or excursion in a ship – pg. 90
  • Sailor – a person who works as a member of a ship’s crew – pg. 55
  • Ship’s ahoy! – an expression used by a sailor who is calling out to a passing ship or boat – pg. 40
  • Shipmates – a fellow member of a ship’s crew – pg. 91
  • Shiver me timbers – a pirate term expressing annoyance or surprise – pg. 33
  • SOS – in nautical terms, it means “Save Our Ship” and has become a universal signal for a cry of help – pg. 65
  • Starboard – the right-hand side of a ship – pg. 51
  • Steer the course – to direct the course of a vessel with a steering wheel or a rudder – pg. 21
  • Swashbuckling – romantic and daring adventures – pg. 85
  • Treasure hunt  – the act of searching for treasure/loot – pg. 24
  • Treasure map – a map on which is marked the location of a buried treasure – pg. 25
  • USS Enterprise – a decommissioned aircraft carrier of the United States Navy – pg. 31
  • Vessel – in nautical terms, another word for “ship” – pg. 74
  • Wreckage  – the broken parts of a ship, vehicle, aircraft, or building
  • X marks the spot – on a treasure map, the “X” indicates where the treasure is located – pg. 26
  • Yo ho ho!  – an expression used by pirates as a cheer – pg. 41