Ask Me Another
9:51 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Bachelor Of Yarrts

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 4:28 pm

Our Ask Me Another linguistic team figured out how to sound like a pirate: simply put a "Y" in front of words that starts with "A-R." Yarr! How many buccaneer words can you guess?

Heard in Episode 325: What's The Magic Word?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WNYC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and with me is our puzzle giant John Flansburgh...

JOHN FLANSBURGH: Hello.

EISENBERG: ...From They Might Be Giants.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Our next game is called Bachelor Of Yarrts. Please welcome our contestants Melanie Pflaum and Diana Hsu.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, you are both teachers. First of all, thank you. Melanie...

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Melanie, high school math and Diana, you recently returned from teaching English to children in China. So I'm sure you're both shaping minds. But I want to know this - your students, what do they teach you? Melanie?

MELANIE PFLAUM: Well, today, when I said I was going to be on the show, one of my drama majors tried to teach me to calm down and breathe and speak slowly, but I don't think I learned that.

(APPLAUSE)

PFLAUM: So what they really taught me is that it's not always about winning.

EISENBERG: Oh, really? That's what they taught you?

PFLAUM: They try.

FLANSBURGH: But not here.

PFLAUM: Yeah, it's all about winning. It's all about winning.

FLANSBURGH: It's all about winning here.

EISENBERG: Diana?

DIANA HSU: That properly harnessed, 6-year-children could probably power a small country.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: They're leaders, born leaders. Yeah, and did they tell you also it's not about winning, it's about them winning?

HSU: They're speaking Chinese so I'm not entirely sure.

(LAUGHTER)

FLANSBURGH: They're winning.

EISENBERG: They are winning. OK, so what is a game called Bachelor Of Yarrts about? It's about, of course, talking like a pirate. Our ASK ME ANOTHER linguistic team figured out that to form a pirate word, you simply put a Y in front of a word that starts with Ar and voila, you just have to pronounce it with the gusto of a one-eyed buccaneer, and you're golden. So for an example for this game, let's go to Captain John Flansburgh.

FLANSBURGH: So if we give you the clue - he's the Greek thinker famous for his work with buoyancy, your answer would be Yarchimedes.

EISENBERG: This is the role you were born to play, my friend.

FLANSBURGH: Yes.

EISENBERG: All right, so you're going to put on an eye-patch. You're going to feed poly a cracker - I don't know anything about pirates. But you're really going to enunciate the Yar.

FLANSBURGH: Yar.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah. And the winner of this round will move on to our Ask Me One More final round. Here we go. From here, straight across the seven seas, it's the fast-food chain famous for their roast beef sandwiches and curly fries.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Diana.

HSU: Yarbys.

EISENBERG: Yes.

FLANSBURGH: Yarbys.

(APPLAUSE)

FLANSBURGH: Yar - Diana takes an early lead.

EISENBERG: It's a place for pirates to store their puffy shirts, or what they might call a wardrobe if they want to sound a little French.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Diana.

HSU: Yarmoire.

FLANSBURGH: Yarmoire is indeed the correct answer.

EISENBERG: And for not a bonus point, but just for fun - if you were to crawl through it, where would you end up?

HSU: Narnia.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That was just for fun, but thank you. Near and dear to a buccaneer's heart, the trickster is one of these timeless modes of behavior identified by Carl Jung. Yep, it just got weird.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Diana.

HSU: Yarchetypes.

EISENBERG: Yarchetypes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Correct. We'll call your ship the collective unconscious.

(LAUGHTER)

FLANSBURGH: We've got a hook for a shadow.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This island, a popular beach destination off the coast of Venezuela, was a favorite hideaway for pirates who probably just enjoyed saying its name.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Melanie.

PFLAUM: This is wrong, but Yaruba?

EISENBERG: Yaruba is right.

FLANSBURGH: Correct, Melanie, you are correct. Key Largo, Montego...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: After too many tins of rum, when ye face be bearing a grog-blossom.

FLANSBURGH: Your face.

EISENBERG: Ye face?

FLANSBURGH: Ye face.

EISENBERG: Ye face.

FLANSBURGH: Ye bearing a grog-blossom.

EISENBERG: You can easily confuse this long snouted mammal with an anteater.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Diana.

HSU: Yaardvark.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yaardvark.

FLANSBURGH: Correct, well played.

EISENBERG: All right, this is your last clue. Like this R&B and soul legend, all the pirates want in the end is a little Yar-E-S-P-E-C-T.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Melanie.

PFLAUM: Yaretha Franklin.

EISENBERG: You are a natural pirate.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Captain John Flansburgh.

FLANSBURGH: Yes?

EISENBERG: How did our pirates do?

FLANSBURGH: Our pirates did fantastically. And our big winner is Diana.

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Diana.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Thank you so much, Melanie. Good game. Diana, you'll be moving onto our final round at the end of the show. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.