What is the origin and meaning of the pirate expression ‘shiver me timbers’? History Extra


Shiver Me Timbers! (1934)

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A mild oath expressing surprise, disbelief or annoyance. It is stereotypically regarded as being uttered by pirates. Synonyms: shiver my sides, shiver my soul 1794, James Roberts, Rule Britannia! A Loyal Sketch, in Two Acts, as Performed with Universal Applause at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London: Printed for Hookham and Carpenter, Old and New Bond.


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First Appearance of "Shiver Me Timbers" The expression is old. If you know how it was popularized (more on that in a bit) you might assume the expression was invented as a popularization of Pirate slang in recent history—a bit of nonsense grimaced out by pirates to add a little more flair to their already cartoonish characters.


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The image of a pirate invoking "shiver me timbers" to describe the fragmentation of a ship's body—whether at the mercy of monstrous waves, a thunderous cannonball, or a wildly impractical contraption from the imagination of Discworld's beloved and bewildering inventor, Bloody Stupid Johnson—feels instinctively plausible. While we may not be able to claim with absolute certainty.


Shiver Me Timbers! (1934) — The Movie Database (TMDB)

The expression "shiver me timbers" was first recorded in print in 1795, and since then, it's appeared everywhere from Treasure Island to SpongeBob SquarePants. But it's unclear whether this phrase was ever truly part of the pirate vernacular. The phrase "shiver me timbers" has been attributed to pirates in literature and pop culture for.


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Definition of shiver me timbers in the Idioms Dictionary. shiver me timbers phrase. What does shiver me timbers expression mean? Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary.


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Shiver my timbers! Shiver means to break into splinters or small pieces (unrelated to cold shivers).Timbers refers to the wooden parts of a ship's hull. So "Shiver my timbers!" is similar to exclaiming "Well, strike me down!" The OED has shiver my timbers from 1834, but the oldest reference I can find is from The Tomahawk! or, Censor General of Friday November 6, 1795:


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Now, we don't want to be the fly in the grog cask, but "shiver me timbers" (or "shiver my timbers" as the phrase has often been written) is unlikely to have ever been uttered by an actual pirate. Instead, it is thought to have arisen from comedic literature as sailor-speak akin to "blow me down" or "by golly" or somesuch.


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Like "(God) strike me dead" and "blow me down", shiver me timbers was rare by the mid 1800s and is never encountered these days - except on September 19.


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The Heart Of Saturday Night, 1974


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Of course, Newton made the most of such 'parrot on the shoulder' phrases and it also appears several times in the film's screenplay. Newton's version, like that of all self-respecting stage pirates, was shiver me timbers, with the occasional 'aaarh, Jim lad' thrown in.. The first appearance of the phrase in print is in Frederick Marryat's Jacob Faithful, 1834:


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"Shiver me timbers" (or "shiver my timbers" in Standard English) is an exclamation in the form of a mock oath usually attributed to the speech of pirates in works of fiction. It is employed as a literary device by authors to express shock, surprise, or annoyance.


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shiver me timbers An exclamation of surprise. The phrase originated with sailors (as "shiver one's timbers" meant to destroy one's ship) and is usually used today in cartoonish portrayals of pirates.


Shiver Me Timbers Wigglepedia Fandom

The term 'shiver me timbers' can be used as a humorous exaggeration of mock-surprise (and very often is). The term can be used with an exclamation mark, but it can also sometimes be used without one. Both usages of the term are valid, depending on the grammar that fits with the rest of the sentence.