Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yo ho ho! Man the rigging and prepare to overhaul!


It’s no secret, that I LUB Captain Jack Sparrow. I almost cried (aye, choked up) when I didn’t get to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest last Saturday as planned (apparently all the fucking posters I saw were misleading; it won’t be opening here till tomorrow—ARRR!). I was complaining about the injustice of it all to the BF (probably for the 100th time) when he asked me, “What is it about Pirates? Is it just because of Johnny Depp?” I rolled my eyes and said, “Of course it’s because of Johnny.” But later on, thinking about his comment, I realized that was a good question—especially for someone who reads novels where pirates are usually romanticized. Really, WHAT is it about pirates?

The English term “pirate” comes from the Latin term pirata, which derives ultimately from the Greek peira, “attack, attempt.” One who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation; one who preys on others; a plunderer.


There’s nothing romantic about being a real life pirate, and certainly nothing sexy about black teeth and the popular haven’t-taken-a-bath-in-a-month look. In all honesty, the thought of a pirate approaching me strikes terror such as you cannot imagine, and let’s not even talk about how revolting that encounter would be. *shudder* There’s no way a man who smells of fish, rum, and gad knows what else could turn me on. So, why then does the likes of Captain Jack appeal to us? Is it simply because he’s played by the oh-so-yummy Johnny Depp? What about in romance novels (where, sadly, Johnny isn’t the hero), would we find those men appealing if they weren’t shown as dashing, charming swashbucklers? Would we still be reading about such scurvy scalawags?

Blimey, a bit disturbing, don’t you think? Give a gorgeous guy a despicable profession and women will still think he’s alluring no matter how heinous his crimes are LOL.


In any case, I have to admit there’s a certain fascination in reading about these buccaneers. As a rule, a pirate implies adventure, exciting voyages, and a mesmerizing world most of us can only dream of. There is also the fun and quirky styles of accessories only a true-blue pirate can pull off (seriously, do you see a gentleman with a peg leg and a parrot?); these, though might look sissy in others, look just perfect in a dashing hooligan:
  • Eye patches. Pirates and other mariners were sometimes blinded in one eye through the use of a sextant.
  • Hooked hands. Despite some opinion, pirates actually did have hooks. They were just expensive, often having leather bases, and more than a normal pirate had to spend.
  • Hoop earrings. Some pirates believed that putting pressure on their earlobes (i.e., by wearing earrings) would prevent them from becoming seasick. Another suggestion for the purpose of a gold earring is that when a pirate died, the gold would provide some kind of funding for a funeral and coffin.
  • Bandanas. Worn to keep sweat out of the eyes.
  • Parrots (on the shoulder, generally squawking “Pieces of eight, braak!” or “Polly wann’a cracker!”) and monkeys. Sometimes pirates would keep animals aboard to supply fresh food; exotic animals such as parrots and monkeys would be of no use to them. However, pirates may have kept such animals for selling at high prices.
  • Tricornes. Often used to keep water out of one’s eyes while in a storm or the rain.
  • Scruffy beards. Many pirates had large beards, including the notorious pirates Barbarossa and Blackbeard; in fact, Blackbeard wove hemp and lit slow matches into his enormous beard in preparation for battle.
  • Cutlasses. Common naval swords of the period.
  • Spyglasses
  • Drinking grog


Now, ah’ve compiled a glossary for th’ seaworthy folk!
  • Ahoy - An interjection used to hail a ship or a person or to attract attention.
  • Cat o’nine tails (or cat) - a whip with nine lashes used for flogging. “A taste of the cat” might refer to a full flogging, or just a single blow to “smarten up” a recalcitrant hand.
  • Chantey (also chanty, shantey or shanty) - A song sung by sailors to the rhythm of their movements while working.
  • Crack Jenny’s tea cup - To spend the night in a house of ill repute.
  • Dance the hempen jig - To hang.
  • Dead men tell no tales - Standard pirate excuse for leaving no survivors.
  • Fire in the hole - A warning issued before a cannon is fired.
  • Gibbet (cage) - Chains in which the corpses of pirates are hung and displayed in order to discourage piracy.
  • Hempen halter - The hangman’s noose.
  • Hornswaggle - To cheat. (learned this term from Aggie :P)
  • Jack - A flag.
  • Landlubber (or lubber) - The term doesn’t derive from “land lover,” but rather from the root of lubber, meaning clumsy or uncoordinated. Thus, a landlubber is one who is awkward at sea for familiarity with the land. The term is used to insult the abilities of one at sea.
  • Loaded to the gunwalls - To be drunk.
  • Nelson’s folly - Rum.
  • Nipperkin - A small cup or drink.
  • No prey, no pay - A common pirate law meaning a crew received no wages, but rather shared whatever loot was taken.
  • Pieces of eight - Spanish silver coins worth one peso or eight “reales,” sometimes literally cut into eight pieces, each worth one real.
  • Rope’s end - Another term for flogging. I.e.: “Ye’ll meet the rope’s end for that, me bucko!”
  • Run a shot across the bow - A command to fire a warning shot.
  • Sail ho! - An exclamation meaning another ship is in view.
  • Scurvy - (1) A disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C often affecting sailors. (2) Mean and contemptible; a derogatory adjective suitable for use in a loud voice, as in “Ye scurvy dogs!”
  • Shiver me timbers! - An expression of surprise or strong emotion.
  • Six pounders - Cannons.
  • Smartly - Quickly. “Smartly there, men!” “Hurry up!”
  • Splice the main brace - To have a drink or perhaps several drinks.
  • Take a caulk - To take a nap. On deck of a ship, between planks, was a thick caulk of black tar and rope to keep water from between decks. This term came about either because sailors who slept on deck ended up with black lines across their backs or simply because sailors laying down on deck were as horizontal as the caulk of the deck itself.
  • Walk the plank - Perhaps more famous than historically practiced, the victim is forced to walk along a plank laid over the ship’s side and fall into the water below.


Finally, here are some hot pirates you might want to lick all over, especially the tattoos—er, read I mean:
  • Across a Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham
  • The Iron Rose by Marsha Canham
  • The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham
  • The Pirate Prince by Gaelen Foley
  • Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood
  • The Gift by Julie Garwood
  • The Pirate and the Pagan by Virginia Henley
  • Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer
  • The Pirate Lord by Sabrina Jeffries
  • Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale
  • Only with Your Love by Lisa Kleypas
  • Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey
  • The Windflower by Laura London (Sharon and Tom Curtis)
  • A Pirate of Her Own by Kinley MacGregor
  • Master of Seduction by Kinley MacGregor
What about you, do you like pirate-themed books? What do you think is the appeal of bandits? Afterwards, join in the chantey and grab a draught! Haul in the gangplank, me hearties!**

**Er, here’s what that means: think about it and then post your comments. Well, that’s close enough LOL.

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46 comment(s):

Blogger Marg said...

Jennifer Ashley's pirate books are pretty good too.

7/11/2006 05:07:00 PM  

Blogger Hamish and Leesha said...

Ahhh Jack Sparrow.... Johnny Depp is the best pirate ever...
Be still my beating heart!


7/11/2006 05:32:00 PM  

Blogger Hamish and Leesha said...

Oh, and I meant to say that I love pirate books, I think Julie Garwood gets it just right!
I got sidetracked!

7/11/2006 05:33:00 PM  

Blogger Dakota Cassidy said...

I was so upset when I couldn't see it last week on vacay--we were in R's very small hometown and it had already begun when we got there. There was only ONE showing for the night.

See me weep. LOL

Dakota :)

7/11/2006 05:43:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

I agree with Marg about Jennifer Ashley, but I really like the Marsha Canham books (I also love her Scotts romances).

I think the appeal of pirate books is mostly because of the adventure they offer. But really, when a very charming pirate who looks like Johnny Depp walks your way, all you can do is jump into his boat too. LOL

7/11/2006 05:44:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Johnny... Sigh.

I really enjoyed Gaelen Foley's books and Pirate Prince is one of my favorites. In these pirate themed books, the pirates are all gorgeous (even if they have scars, which actually just add to their appeal). What's not to like? LOL. But it's true, pirates in reality are very scary, and therefore shouldn't be the stuff of romance. I wonder who made these pirate books popular.

Anyway, love this post, Harlot. And the Johnny pics, and the pirate terms too! LOL :D

7/11/2006 05:52:00 PM  

Blogger Dance Chica said...

Haven't seen POTC2 yet. I want to but I'm lazy and will probably wait for DVD but I love, love Johnny Depp and I love pirates. Yeah, in reality pirates aren't so hot but who ever said us romance readers were grounded in reality? ;) LOL.

Anyway, my favorite pirate book at the moment is Beyond Paradise by Elizabeth Doyle. I actually wrote a review of this on my blog because I totally loved it. The hero is so unique (and loveable).

The appeal of pirates...I don't know. I do think it's that adventure thing but also... pirates are associated with danger, lawlessness, fighting...I think they hold an appeal as being a bad boy-- a rebel against society. I mean, we love our bad boys don't we? Pirates are all that I think but then, I could be pulling all this out of my ass. LOL! I don't know. I just know I love me pirates. ;) *Johnny Depp all mine* :P

7/11/2006 06:10:00 PM  

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

I don't think it's the adventure that draws me to pirate books (though I've only read a few - historicals aren't my fav), but the thought of a big, strong, tough man/pirate being brought to his knees (literally and figuratively) by that one special woman whom he has fallen for. Isn't that the point of most romances? The pirate theme is just putting that he-man in a different setting.

I have to admit, POC is not on my "must see" list; perhaps I need to discuss a "date night" with DH.

[Yeah! I can finally post! For some reason the word verification thingy won't show up on my laptop. I'm on DH's computer, so I'll have to be sure to keep this clean.]

7/11/2006 06:12:00 PM  

Blogger Dance Chica said...

Meant to add: thanks for the book recs! I'll definitely check out those pirate books you mentioned. Arr! LOL. ;)

7/11/2006 06:14:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Me likey some pirates *grrr* LOL but mainly b/c of Johnny D. in Pirates of the C. The only pirate book I've read "the gift" by JG completely sucked! So eagerly expecting a package by my loovley Harlot, which contains that Gaelen book she's constantly raving about; I hope it's nothing like her beloved JI grrrrr

7/11/2006 06:17:00 PM  

Blogger kinky courtesan said...

any book i've read that has pirates the captain is clean! You don't see girls jumping all over the guys on the decks do you? No... you see the captains or second in command gettin all the action. I think the higher ups bathe more and drink better drinks... i.e. wine instead of just rum... i don't know i may just be making it up..... haha

7/11/2006 06:18:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

I think we should have this new post forever as first. *Sigh* Johnny Depp is so freaking hot. So BOB worthy, and sponge worthy and everything and anything worthy really!

Ok now *phew it's hot in here* Off to treat myself as an amusement park LOL

7/11/2006 06:40:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Babe, you shameless hussy! I sent you PRINCESS, not the PIRATE PRINCE. :/ Still, YOU BETTER READ IT!!! :@

Leesha and 2nd Andt,
So glad to see you both here again. :D

Aye, me too. Sniff. Going to see it tomorrow though. :D Hi to R!

Dance chica,
If you haven't read Gaelen Foley yet, check her out. That PIRATE PRINCE is the first in her Ascension trilogy, which i love. The next book PRINCESS is one of my fave romance novels. :D

7/11/2006 06:49:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

I'm with Leesha, Johnny Depp is the best pirate ever!!! And the sexiest and the most gorgeous. Sigh. Doesn't matter if he's sporting such an awful hair, he's so yummy. LOL

LOL Trollop, I'm with you on JG and her book The Gift. The heroine was a total idiot anyway.

7/11/2006 07:01:00 PM  

Blogger Dakota Cassidy said...

OH! You're seeing it tomorrow? niiiiice. R and I are going to watch the 1st one because he's never seen it (blasphemy, I say) and then go see it this weekend.

He sends his best :)

DC :)

7/11/2006 07:49:00 PM  

Blogger Dance Chica said...

I'm still a baby when it comes to romance novels and while I've heard of Gaelen Foley I've never actually read anything by her. I will definitely check out the Pirate Prince though. Thanks hon! ;)

7/11/2006 08:02:00 PM  

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

OMG Johnny. I love that first pic! Well I love all the pics. :D

About the question, I don't really like pirate books. I mean, if the story is good, of course I'll read it. I don't know, it's probably because I'm more partial to contemporary romances than historicals. No way I'll be reading about a modern-day pirate, LOL. Anyway, of course good recommedations are always welcome.

7/11/2006 08:11:00 PM  

Anonymous Frieda said...

OMG I love Johnny Depp. And the movie was fantastic.

Great blog.

7/11/2006 11:19:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...

I love the pirate terms. :) And thanks for the book recs, Harlot. Lovely pics! :P

7/11/2006 11:24:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

I'm currently reading Pirate Prince. Typical me, reading the first one last. LOL.
Loved the movie, POC2, but was peeved that it didn't continue straight into 3rd one. Sigh.
Something to look forward to I guess.
btw: Anymore naked/semi-dressed Italians lurking around anywhere near? Pretty please Harlot!!!
Just thought I'd check! LOL

7/12/2006 12:12:00 AM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

Oh I highly recommend Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale. Amazing book. And Allegreto (the hero) will give Johnny Depp a run for his money. If you want books with a dark alpha male, engaging story, hot sex, get that book.

Great article by the way.

7/12/2006 12:28:00 AM  

Blogger Petra said...

Harlot, are you hiding some naked hot Italian men from us? I'm with Aggie, share please!

7/12/2006 12:39:00 AM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Lollie Rose, I've never read Laura Kinsale but many people recommended Shadowheart to me. Is that a stand alone book or part of a series? That Allegro sounds hot. :P

Yes Aggie's right. Harlot, please more naked Italian men! LOL

7/12/2006 12:40:00 AM  

Blogger Isabella said...

Dance chica, Gaelen Foley is a great author. I actually love her Kinght series better than Ascension but I agree with Harlot on her book Princess. I too loved it.

Danielle, I second that Shadowheart recommendation. Really good. And Allegreto, sigh, so hot! LOL

7/12/2006 01:34:00 AM  

Blogger BHB said...

Just passing thru. Loved the pirate terms - and the pics of JD not bad either ;)
Will be putting a link on my blog if that's ok.

7/12/2006 01:35:00 AM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

Harlot, I love the Pirate terms. And of course Johnny Depp's pics!

I usually enjoy pirate themed books. I've read the two Garwood books in your list and Lisa Kleypas' Only with Your Love. It's not the best LK but I suggest read Only in My Arms first.

I agree with 2nd amdt's POV re the love of pirate books. It's definitely why I like them. The thought of a strong "scalawag" brought to his knees, on his turf (or boat) nonetheless, is just great. Ha!

7/12/2006 02:17:00 AM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

I've never read Shadowheart, but I didn't know its hero was a pirate. This Allegreto/Allegro (which one is right?) guy sounds hot. Was it the same as Laura Kinsale's older books because I didn't like Flowers From the Storm. It's the language, just could not get into it.

7/12/2006 02:23:00 AM  

Anonymous tinker bell said...

My gawd, is Johnny Depp gorgeous or what?

Harlot, thanks for the pirate terms. Love this. :)

7/12/2006 02:42:00 AM  

Anonymous Betsy said...

The appeal of pirates? Bad-boy syndrome! Think about it- it's the 17th century version of the guy who's been in jail a few times, rides a motorcycle, and raises hell around town.

And you do know there is an actual Talk Like a Pirate Day, don't you? I think it's in October. Please don't ask how the hell I know that.

7/12/2006 11:37:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

OK so here is my 2 cents.

Pirate books always have the pirate clean, well spoken, cultured, rich, hot, tan, muscular, many times a nobleman but under a secret identity, and uber masculine. So here you have this guy, good looking, has money, is manly, and he would die without the love of the heroine (or become a grouchy drunk that takes it out on his friends and family)... 'nuff said.

Second, the bad boy that no one can tame but the heroine. Isn't that every girl’s secret thought? The bad boy that only can be tamed by your hand, therefore it must be love...

Third, danger is a turn on. When you are scared or in danger your adrenalin or epinephrine kicks in. When the danger subsides the adrenalin is still there producing endorphins, which affects emotions, and usually the easiest (and most fun) release is sex. Though sometimes it turns into anger, and in my opinion getting hit doesn't have the appeal that getting laid does, but that's just me. :-)

7/12/2006 12:45:00 PM  

Blogger Gatxan said...

Harlot, great post!

I think the appeal of bandits comes from the dark side we all have and that's sexier, funnier and more exciting.

7/12/2006 12:47:00 PM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I forgot to mention in my post that no matter how dirty or ruthless Pirate Johnny Depp got, I would still sail that ship all day long! *wink,wink*

7/12/2006 12:52:00 PM  

Blogger Vixen said...

Johnny *sigh*

7/12/2006 02:17:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

Ladybug, it's Allegreto. And you should try Shadowheart. It's different than her older books, more darker I think and this one has a bit of S&M.

Also it has a prequel, My Lady's Heart. Allegreto was just 16 or 17 in that book. Both books have exciting characters and the stories are exciting.

7/12/2006 02:49:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

It's the danger, the appeal of these pirates. Not to mention all of them are described as the wicked men of every girl's fantasy.

Sigh, Johnny. Love this post!

7/12/2006 02:54:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Ahoy! Er, i mean, welcome. :P And please feel free to link us. Hope you'll join us here often!

I didn't know there's an actual Talk Like A Pirate Day! :D Blimey, that sounds cool! Will definitely look into that. Aye, maybe we can do that here when the time comes? :P

Aggie, Petra, Danielle,
Will probably post some eye-candy this weekend. Let's see. It depends, really. Sometimes there are posts that can't wait so have to publish those first. :) But i promise, when it comes to hot, naked Italian men, no way i'll be getting tired of that. :P

7/12/2006 03:13:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis said...

I agree with the badboy syndrome as the appeal of these dashing pirates. Every girl wanted a badboy, at one point or another, fell for a guy who's just too wrong, wishing herself to be "the one" who could make that difference that mattered in his wicked life.

I can't believe I almost missed this post! Johnny... *sigh*

7/12/2006 03:52:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

OMG I love this post. Johnny. *sigh* It doesn't matter if he's a pirate, he can plunder me anytime. ;)

7/12/2006 04:36:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

Hah, talk about being distracted. LOL. About pirate-themed books, sure I like them. It's not just the adventure, it's the bad boy side of it all. Alpha male who takes what he wants whenever he wants it. :P

I love Kinley McGregor's pirate books. These pirates are no dark-hunters but I'm telling you, they're just as hot.

7/12/2006 04:43:00 PM  

Anonymous Betsy said...

OK, here is the link for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. September 17th, people! The website is pretty funny, including pirate pick-up lines (girl pirates, too!), and an English-to-pirate translator link.



7/12/2006 07:09:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Oh I love the glossary. :) Shiver me timbers! LOL

I'm not sure why being a pirate is so appealing. Usually, from the romance novels I've read, give the heroine a choice between a gentleman and a "gentleman" pirate, she'll no doubt choose the latter. I'm thinking it's the size of his boat?

7/12/2006 08:00:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

Lorelei: LMAO! Size of his boat!
Oh yeah! You got that right. Given a modern day choice between a ride in a dingy or a cruise in a yacht. Oh it ain't a hard decision there now is it. LOL

Thanks Harlot for promise of more yummy eye candy to come. When ever you can. Always makes a girls weekend perfect it does!

7/12/2006 11:49:00 PM  

Anonymous Serendipity said...

Alas, I am missing most of the plots for this movie. I wasn't sure if it's because of Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom's back....but I am not quite sure who's who and what going on.

I might need to read the script so I can straighten everyone out in their places. Lil Sis will not see it because of Octupus guy.

7/13/2006 02:35:00 AM  

Anonymous lola lovegood said...

Johnny Depp be still my heart! He's 3 years older than me and I remember him perfectly from 21 jump street and the wet dreams ladies, they were dirty! =)

I own a copy of Pirates 1 and have watched it so much I think it squirms every time I go near it! =P Loved the second part as much as the first and it's all because of Johnny! Can I please sigh now?

7/14/2006 12:46:00 PM  

Blogger Tracy said...

Wow. Thanks for the compilation.

7/17/2006 05:19:00 PM  

Blogger Mystery Girl said...

How Did you get the Pictures?

8/02/2006 12:56:00 PM