Famous Pirate Names

Famous pirate names can be traced as far back as the 1600’s, when the most active stretch of piracy began.

Over time, pirates became romanticized in popular culture to the point that many are considered heroes, as depicted in movies, books, and plays. Some of the adventures are exaggerations, others only tell part of the story, and some are spot on. But all these tales increasingly contribute to our fascination with the swashbuckling characters and the lives they led.

Let’s take a look at some of the most famous pirates from history, movies, literature, and TV.


    Top 10 famous pirate names

    In the golden age of piracy, there were dozens and dozens of pirates, both men and women. Their life expectancy was very young. For example, Blackbeard only lived to age 39. There were pirates in all of the seven seas and they ran into only minimal resistance.

    Even though there were a lot of pirates sailing the waters, there were some that stood out. These pirates became famous for their daring and cunning. They fought hard and showed no mercy. They terrorized shipping companies and amassed fortunes in gold, silver, and jewels. Here is a list of the most famous pirates in history.

    1.) Calico Jack

    His real name was John Rackham, and he was captured in 1719, but was given a pardon. He went back to his piracy ways and womanizing. He took up with a married woman named Anne Bonny, herself a notorious pirate. Rackham was also involved with Mary Read, a female pirate who dressed in men’s clothes.

    Both Read and Bonny wound up sailing with Calico Jack in 1720. Calico Jack’s luck had run out and he was executed. The other members of his crew were also executed except Read and Bonny. It was discovered that both women were pregnant, and they were released. Mary Read passed away while in prison and Anne Bonny disappeared.

    2.) Anne Bonny

    Anne Bonny was born the daughter of a prominent Irish attorney, an illegitimate daughter. To hide this fact, her father had her dress as a boy for most of her youth. She traveled to America and met and married a sailor. She was struck with wanderlust and moved to the Bahamas.

    While in the Bahamas, she met Calico Jack Rackham a notorious pirate. Smitten by Rackham, she joined his crew. She was proficient at sword fighting, marksmanship, and uncorking the bottle. Her career didn’t last long, Calico Jack and his crew were caught and executed, and Anne Bonny vanished,

    famous pirate names

    3.) Captain William Kidd

    Kidd was originally hired as a privateer to hunt down pirates and put them out of business. Lured by the available riches, Kidd decided to become a pirate himself. He had an ill-fated voyage where a disagreement with a crew member caused many of his crew to mutiny and jump ship.

    With only a skeleton crew available, Kidd sailed to New York. Legend has it that he buried his treasure on Gardiner’s Island. Captain Kidd started sailing back to England but was arrested. He was tried in the English court and executed for piracy. The authorities displayed his decaying body by the river Thames to discourage other pirates.

    4.) Black Bart Roberts

    Born in 1862, Bartholomew Roberts was from Welsh descent. Often considered the most successful pirate,he earned this title by capturing more than 400 ships. He primarily sailed the Americas and West African coasts. His exploits led to his nickname Black Bart.

    Like many pirates, Black Bart met a violent end. He was being pursued by the Royal Navy and he was a marked man. HMS Swallow intercepted Roberts’s ship and began a battle. Black Bart fought gallantly but was hit by grapeshot. He was buried at sea still wearing his finest clothes and carrying four pistols.

    5.) Grace O’Malley

    This famous pirate led a fleet of 20 ships and thumbed her nose at the British monarchy. She was born into a clan that controlled the coastline of western Ireland. She vowed to stay in the family business and plundered English and Spanish ships.

    Many legends exist about Grace. One states that she went to battle at sea a day after giving birth. She was captured in the early 1590’s and faced the British courts. Now a 63-year-old woman, O’Malley appealed to Queen Elizabeth I for leniency. Her plea worked, but she continued her pirating ways until her passing in 1603.

    Blackbeard Edward Teach image

    6.) Blackbeard

    His real name was Edward Teach, but he cultivated his Blackbeard persona. He would braid his beard and long hair and then coil fuses in the braids. When faced with a fight, he would light the fuses and frighten his foes.

    Blackbeard often wore multiple guns and daggers strapped to his chest. He sailed a captured French slave ship that he fitted with 40 cannons and named it Queen Anne’s Revenge. When he was laying low in North Carolina, the British Navy attacked. Blackbeard lost his life in a particularly savage battle.

    7.) Madame Cheng

    Along with her husband Cheng Yih, she formed a huge fleet. After her husband’s passing in 1807 she became the organization’s leader. At this point, she was commanding 1800 vessels and over 70,000 men. She cruised the South China Sea demanding protection money.

    The Chinese authorities started applying pressure to Cheng to disband her organization. Finally in 1810, she was offered a pardon and accepted it. She stopped her pirating ways, Cheng lived out the remainder of her life in control of an expansive opium smuggling ring.

    8.) Henry Morgan

    It isn’t known if the best-selling rum is named after Captain Morgan, but it could be. His exploits were particularly brutal, and he used priests, women, and authorities as human shields.

    He was arrested in 1672 but served little time. In a twist of fate, he wound up as governor of Jamaica in 1676. From 1680 to 1682 he also served as governor of Jamaica. During his tenure in office, an anti-piracy law was passed by the legislature. Strangely, Morgan helped prosecute other pirates.

    9.) Sir Francis Drake

    A privateer licensed by the government of England; Drake was asked to attack the Spanish shipping system. He was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I and she even had a nickname for him, “my pirate.”

    From 1577 to 1580, he became the first English captain to circumnavigate the globe. During this trip, he captured a Spanish ship loaded with treasure. When he returned to England, Queen Elizabeth was so pleased that she made him a knight. In 1588, Sir Francis Drake was instrumental in defeating the Spanish Armada.

    10.) Aruj and Hizir Barbarossa

    The word Barbarossa means red beard in Italian. Primarily sailing the Mediterranean Sea, the brothers were fierce and fearless. The Ottoman sultan was so impressed that he put the brothers in charge of protecting the Barbary Coast.

    A pirate’s life is tough, and Aruj lost an arm in battle and then passed away in 1518 leaving Hizir in charge. Hizir spent the rest of his life fighting Christian enemies. These enemies included a fleet formed by the pope and sent specifically to destroy him.

    More famous pirate names

    For as long as man has set sail on the oceans there have been pirate ships flying their black flag (known as the Jolly Roger), ready to pillage and plunder when the opportunity arose.

    This list of well-known pirates features both real and fictional buccaneers from the past.

    From history and literature

    1.) Captain Flint

    2.) Whitebeard

    3.) Long John Silver

    4.) Henry Long Ben Every

    5.) Francois L’Olonnais

    6.) Francis Spriggs

    7.) Dread Pirate Roberts

    8.) Benjamin Hornigold

    9.) Charles Vane

    10.) Jack Sparrow

    11.) Edward England

    12.) Morgan Adams

    13.) Elise Eskilsdotter

    14.) Howell Davis

    15.) Edward Lowe

    16.) Mary Read

    17.) Captain Nemo

    18.) Jack Shandy

    19.) Stede Bonnet

    20.) Sayida Al Hurra

    21.) Paulsgrave Williams

    22.) Charlotte Badger

    23.) Jean Lafite

    24.) Woodes Rogers

    25.) Long Ben (Henry Every)

    26.) John Maude

    27.) Captain Hook

    28.) Jacquotte Delahaye

    29.) Christopher Myngs

    30.) John Morris

    31.) Thomas Paine

    32.) Jeanne De Clisson

    33.) Samuel Belamy

    34.) Mary Farley

    35.) Sir Henry Morgan

    36.) Turqut Reis

    37.) Charlotte de Berms

    38.) Rachel Wall

    39.) Anne Dieville

    Captain Hook from Peter Pan image

    From movies and TV

    1.) Captain Hook, Peter Pan

    2.) Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean

    3.) Long John Silver, Treasure Island

    4.) Captain Flint, Black Sails

    5.) Davy Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean

    6.) Captain Hector Barbosa, Pirates of the Caribbean

    7.) Dread Pirate Roberts, The Princess Bride

    8.) The Count, Pirate Radio

    9.) Jack Shandy, Pirates of the Caribbean

    10.) Captain Flint, Black Sails

    11.) Patchy the Pirate, SpongeBob SquarePants

    12.) Captain Pugwash, Captain Pugwash

    13.) Jake, Jake and the Neverland Pirates

    14.) One-Eyed Willy, The Goonies

    15.) Bootstrap Bill Turner, Pirates of the Caribbean

    16.) Captain Nemo, Mysterious Island

    17.) Mr. Smee, Peter Pan

    18.) Billy Bones, Treasure Island

    19.) The Pirate King, The Pirates of Penzance

    20.) Captain Hook, Once Upon a Time

    21.) Captain Feathersword, The Wiggles

    22.) Steve the Pirate, Dodgeball

    23.) Captain Shakespeare, Stardust

    Pirate party names

    Coming up with your pirate name is half the fun of being a pirate! Below you’ll find a list to get you started. Use a name from the list or create your own. Good pirate names are funny, witty, cute, or best of all — just plain weird!

    Funny pirate names

    Pirates have senses of humor too, you’ve got to get a laugh in when you’re not searching for buried treasure. Here are some funny and downright silly pirate names:

    1.) One Tooth McGuirk

    2.) Fill the Bucket Bill

    3.) Big Lips Laurie

    4.) Carl the Cannonball

    5.) Patchy Swashbuckler

    6.) One Hand Pete

    7.) One Foot Gibbs

    8.) Cotton Mouth Carlson

    9.) Grog Hardface

    10.) Willie the Parrot

    11.) Itchy McQuick

    12.) No Nose Williams

    13.) Lester the Jester

    14.) Fishy O’Jelly

    15.) Edward Marble Mouth

    16.) No Name Smith

    17.) Paddy Pink Eye

    18.) Squidy Onionhead

    19.) Carla Cranky Budding

    20.) Shifty McCrab

    21.) Gold Tooth Gilda

    22.) Brown Tooth Billy

    23.) Scruffy McScruff Face

    24.) Vin Skully

    Learn how to talk like a pirate with these words and phrases.

    Scary pirate names

    Every pirate wants a name that will strike fear in the hearts of their enemies. A name that causes landlubbers and skallywags to shake and shiver. Here is a list of scary pirate names:

    1.) Cedric the Cannibal

    2.) Ruthless Ruth

    3.) Red Eye Riley

    4.) Crab Claws McCutchon

    5.) Pigs Eye Parrant

    6.) Mad Dog Vincent

    7.) No Legs Newman

    8.) Patchless Parsons

    9.) Venom Master

    10.) Claw Foot Claire

    11.) Charles Darkley

    12.) Isla Sea-Wolf

    13.) Crazy Crenshaw

    14.) Blackjack Grimm

    15.) Hawk Nose Peterson

    16.) Curly No Tongue

    17.) Harley Fang Heely

    18.) Captain Pain

    19.) Skull Face

    20.) William the Fearless

    21.) Dark Eyes Dan

    22.) Cutler Swordface

    23.) Shadow Stealer

    24.) Ken the Kraken

    Girl pirate names

    Certainly, there were (and probably are) girl pirates. In celebration of the female swashbuckler, here is a list of good names for girl pirates:

    1.) Diamond Kate

    2.) Sadie Tall Britches

    3.) Atlantis Oceanic

    4.) Nelli Black

    5.) Dirty Darlene

    6.) Callie The Butcher Tildon

    7.) Destiny Bilouix

    8.) Voodoo Goddess

    9.) Constance Six Toes

    10.) Tina Tuna

    11.) Ella The Bearded Lady

    12.) Lazy Eye Loretta

    13.) Wicked Wanda

    14.) Esmeralda Hardlock

    15.) Blackboots Hooligan

    16.) Marika Bloodbath

    17.) Cutthroat Morgan

    18.) Crow’s Nest Cordella

    19.) Sea Witch

    Kids will love these pirate jokes.

    Boy pirate names

    It’s true, boys like to dress up like pirates and pretend to be Captain Hook. If they are going to do that, they need a pirate name. Here’s a list of good pirate names for boys:

    1.) Eagle Eye Jerry

    2.) Axel Paingiver

    3.) Gunner Blackpowder

    4.) Black Eyed Barry

    5.) Snake Eyes Steve

    6.) Wooden Leg Willie

    7.) Greybeard

    8.) Stubby Legs Nelson

    9.) Rattle Me Bones Whitman

    10.) Lobster Hands Lorenzo

    11.) Cockroach O’Keefe

    12.) Toothless Joe Miner

    13.) Captain Shred

    14.) Barnacle Bill

    15.) Peg Leg Pete

    16.) Sid the Swashbuckler

    17. Cutthroat Ned

    18.) Benno Sail Water

    19.) Cruel Barkley

    20.) Sharp Sword Cutler

    21.) Barbary Bandit

    Check out these famous pirate quotes and sayings.

    What is your pirate name?

    Tell the truth, secretly you would like to be a pirate, at least for a day. But what would your pirate name be? You can start with alliterations, if your name is Bob, your pirate name could be Bilgewater Bob. You could try using just your last name and adding something to it. If your name is Sally Nelson, your pirate name could be Sally Nelsonhead.

    Another easy thing to do is to take an object or attribute and insert it in your name. For example, if your name is James Benson, your pirate name could be James The Fire Extinguisher Benson. Another popular pirate name is a singular name like Blackbeard. Your pirate name could be Short Toes, you get the idea.

    National Talk Like a Pirate Day

    Now that you have all this knowledge about pirates, you can celebrate in style. National Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated each year on September 19th. Can you say Aargh?

    By Tim Moodie

    Tim Moodie is a big pirate fan, and no, not the Pittsburg Pirates. Ever since he was a little kid, he loved the adventures of pirates on the high seas. He even had his son and daughter dress as Peter Pan and Captain Hook for Halloween. It just happened to be the same year as the Minneapolis Halloween Blizzard of 1991. An incredible 28.4 inches fell, and Tim and his kids made it to three houses.

    Edited by Greg Johnson | Published 12/14/2022