“Find a pirate to sit on”

JAMIE: Yes, talking to you would’ve been a distraction.

PARIS: I know. I heard you already. My God, find a pirate to sit on, okay?

Paris refers to the popular stereotype of pirates having a pet parrot sitting on their shoulder (meaning that Jamie is repeating himself, like a parrot). It stems from the character of Long John Silver in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson [pictured] – for ever after, the idea that pirates and parrots go together has sunk firmly into our collective imagination.

Although there are no accounts of pirates having parrots in real life, exotic birds would have been very valuable at that time, and well worth stealing. It’s more likely that pirates had parrots as profitable cargo, rather than as pets.

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