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Yo Ho Ho!

Oldest known Jolly Roger. 18th C. It’s in the National Museum of the Royal Navy. It’s red, which apparently means they take no prisoners if you resist.

Curiously, I found several sources and they all described it as “one of two surviving Jolly Rogers” rather than the oldest. But the only other one I could find is in St Augustine, and I read somewhere it was from 1850. Which is really after the classical pirate era.

I think it’s charming that we have taken a group of history’s most bloodthirsty sadistic mass murderers and repackaged them as a funtime play identity for children. Sweet!


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 24, 2021, 10:15 pm

Are you sure that’s not the oldest strawberry colored Jolly Rancher?

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 24, 2021, 10:24 pm

Here’s an entertaining link to an explanation of why Roger is Jolly.

Note her claim for what “Rogering” means in England. I’ll leave you official Anglotypes to confirm/deny.


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 25, 2021, 10:46 am


Try this link

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 25, 2021, 12:21 pm


The authoress strikes me as rather a poor, sweet, innocent, summer child.

She says,

In England, “Roger” is closely related to “rogue,” and many people refer to the devil as Old Roger, or say that they are “rogering” someone when they are making trouble for them. Since pirates are associated with roguish behavior, naming their flag the Jolly Roger would have made sense, since rogues tend to be particularly jolly when they are making mischief, as pirates often are.

“Making mischief” is a quite watered-down definition of the verb “ Roger as used in the age of pirates, at least in my understanding.

I am attaching a link to a list of British Slang, leaving it to your discretion to continue on to ‘Roger’ yourself. It’s true, I could have linked directly to it, but I was having too much fun looking at some of the other slang…. So far my favorite is “Pumpkin Positive”


By the way, if you are looking for a fun read and a wild tale full of pirates and Indians, and Captain John Smith among others, I highly recommend
‘The Sot-Weed Factor’ by John Barth.

It is full of old British slang and there’s a whole lot of jolly rogering goin’ on….

Comment from Anonymous
Time: May 25, 2021, 1:15 pm

Sigh…. I seem to be unable to get the link to work. Rather than try a fourth time to fix it I will leave you to your own devices there and instead give you the lyrics to

“ Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)”

” Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

We kidnap and ravage* and don’t give a hoot,

Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We extort, we pilfer, we filch, and sack,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

Maraud and embezzle, and even high-jack,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We kindle and char, inflame and ignite,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

We burn up the city, we’re really a fright,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

We’re rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

We’re devils and black sheep, really bad eggs,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.

We’re beggars and blighters, ne’er-do-well cads,

Drink up, me ‘earties, yo ho.

You may hear this song performed daily by Walt Disney employees.

*(See definition of ‘Roger’)

Comment from dissent555
Time: May 25, 2021, 5:49 pm

I’m wondering if “Bashir” will enter the British lexicon of ignominy

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 25, 2021, 6:33 pm

Gosh, I read the Sotweed Factor a thousand years ago.

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