The very wonderful folks who run the Word-a-Day service from wordsmith.org have handed over this week’s word collection to the Talk Like a Pirate folks. In introducing his stint as a wordsmith, John Baur muses on the nature of the pirate accent:
I’ve often heard people talk about pirates’ “cockney accents.” Wrong! The stereotypical pirate has a Cornish accent, based on the performance of Long John Silver by actor Robert Newton in the 1950 Disney version of “Treasure Island”. He was from Cornwall, and his over-the-top performance and native accent are the reason people think that’s what a pirate sounded like. Of course, pirates came from all nationalities. But the pop culture image is firmly embedded, and Robert Newton is the reason why.
A Cornish accent isn’t that far from a Somerset accent, so hopefully my piractical speech will be reasonably authentic. Arr!