Ye Olde Glossarye - A Pirate Glossary



A vessel with two masts, square rigged on the foremast and fore and aft rigged on the main mast.

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Pirates of the late 17th century, originally from the Island of Hispanola. They were hunters and traders that were forced off the island by the Spanish. They preyed on Spanish shipping and also raided coastal towns on the Spanish Main.

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To beach a ship at high tide or in shallow water. This allowed the crew to clean or repair parts of the ship below the water line. Pirates had to be careful in choosing their careenage (the place where they would carry out this task) as it was a vulnerable position in which to be caught. Cleaning the barnacles from their ships made them faster in the water and more suited to their tasks.

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A Spanish gold coin worth 2 escudos.

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The Golden Age Of Piracy

A time lasting from about 1650 to 1726. During these years, piracy was rampant in the Caribbean.

Source: Wikipedia
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Long Nine

A nine-pounder cannon (gun) with a longer barrel than a usual gun of the same size. These were used in the bow or stern or the ship and used in chase situations.

Source: Wikipedia
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A light boat propelled by oars, a sail or both. Pirates favored pinnaces because they were fast and stealthy. Sometimes this can refer to a longboat kept on a ship.

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A private ship and/or crew hired by a government or other agency to carry out naval action against an enemy. After peace was made (and treaties were signed), many privateer's would continue plundering, thus becoming pirates, outlaws even in the eyes of their former employers. If a new war broke out, they could again become privateers.

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