Proper Sailing Lingo and Pirate Talk for Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves is quite friendly to new players, featuring simple controls, lovely graphics, and an easy to understand system of navigating and steering your ship. But when it comes to using the correct language aboard a ship, the game leaves that up to the players. Sure, there is nothing preventing you from yelling at your fellow crewmates that you’ve spotted an “enemy boat on the left side of our ship, near the front!” Of course, you’ll sound like a fool. Many gamers are used to military type callouts, perhaps resorting to such things as “hostile ship spotted at two o’clock”, but that still doesn’t seem right. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the core terminology that, if used properly, will make you appear like a real sailor. Sadly, this will do nothing to help you overcome your – sometimes very real – sea sickness, I’m afraid.

Sailing Lingo

Proper Sailing Lingo and Pirate Talk for Sea of Thieves
Captain’s Cabin • TL;DR Games • Fair Use

The following terms will help you when it comes to navigating and steering your ship. They will allow you to replace land-terms, such as “left”, “right”, “front”, and “back” with more appropriate sailor lingo.

  • Port – the left side
  • Starboard – the right side
  • Bow – the front of your ship
  • Stern – the back of your ship
  • Astern/Aft – used when referring to the Stern as a location. For example, “bring some grog astern”
  • Jib – the front-most mast on a Galleon, also know as the Fore-Mast
  • Main-Mast – the middle mast on a Galleon
  • Aft-Mast – or Mizzen-Mast, which doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily, is the mast closest to the rear of your ship
  • Keel – the bottom of your ship
  • Above Board – anything above or on the open deck of your ship
  • Below Deck – anything in the underbelly of your ship
  • Bear Down – to approach something very fast with the wind at your back
  • Dead in the Water – due to lack of wind, your ship is stationary in the water
  • Anchors Aweigh – (not Anchors Away!) means the anchor has been raised from the sea floor and your ship is on its way
  • Drop Anchor – this may be obvious, but please don’t say “put the anchor down!”
  • Hoist Sails – to raise the sails, meaning to roll them up so as to slow your ship down
  • Reef Sails – to partially raise the sails in order to control your ship’s speed
  • Full Sails – to lower the sails fully to capture the maximum amount of wind
  • Helm – where you steer your ship from, i.e. the wheel
  • Windward – the side of your ship that is closest to the wind
  • Leeward – the side of your ship furthest from the wind, i.e. the opposite of the windward side
  • Lines – whenever you want to say ropes, use lines instead
  • Trim Sails – to change the angle of the sails to collect maximum wind

Key Pirate Terms

Proper Sailing Lingo and Pirate Talk for Sea of Thieves
Heavy Storm • TL;DR Games • Fair Use

Finally, while understanding the sailing terminology almost sounds like work, learning a few key pirate terms is a lot more fun. Here are a few key terms every pirate should be familiar with:

  • Avast Ye – Pay attention
  • Shiver me timbers – An expression used to show shock or disbelief
  • Head – toilet aboard your ship
  • Coxswain – the helmsman, i.e. the person steering your ship
  • Ahoy, Matey – Hello, friend
  • Poop Deck – deck that is highest and furthest back on your ship
  • Landlubber – a person not familiar or skilled with the sea
  • Batten down the hatches – prepare for an incoming storm
  • Crow’s Nest – the lookout atop the main mast
  • Scallywag – used as a name to insult someone
  • Scuttle a ship – to sink a ship
  • Three sheets to the wind – someone who is extremely drunk
  • Booty – treasure
  • Broadside – a barrage of all cannons on the side of your ship
  • Grog – drink this to get you three sheets to the wind
  • Land Ho! – exclamation when spotting land
  • Maroon – to abandon someone on a deserted island with little hope of survival
  • Sea Shanty – a song played by several crew members to pass the time
  • Wench – a practical way to address a lady
  • Yarrrrr! – Yes

If you understand everything in this guide, you can call yourself a true pirate in Sea of Thieves! For more helpful guides, be sure to check out our Sea of Thieves Guide Hub.

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