Other Names for Pirates
There were several different classifications for pirates depending on where they hailed from, if they worked for a government, or if they ran goods or slaves. The word “pirate" was derived from Greek origins and originally meant “one who plunders on the sea."
Buccaneer: This was the name of an early group of sailors that dried meat from hogs and cattle on the island of Hispaniola and distributed it in Europe. It later was applied to any sailor of Spanish heritage.
Corsair: A French privateer, or one of the Knights of Malta fighting the Barbary pirates. It was once thought that the name came from the island of Corsica, but it is far more likely that it was derived from the mid-evil Latin “cursus," to plunder.
Filibuster: A French term for pirates. Of course, it has another meaning that is well known in politics. A filibuster is a way to stop laws from being enacted, so perhaps the name was given to pirates for the same reason.
Freebooter: Although some linguists claim this is a corruption of the Dutch words for loot and sailor it seems that the pirates this term referred to were mercenaries or men for hire. A free man with the skills of pirate – a booter, one who could be removed from the crew without consequence. These men were brawlers, hired muscle, or had skills that were only temporarily needed by the Captain.
Picaroon: True pirates considered this term an insult. This was the term used for a pirate who also dealt in the slave trade.
Privateer: This is a pirate sanctioned by a government and only allowed to plunder ships from unfriendly governments. Most Privateer Ships carried letters of Marque on board to legitimize their actions.