What is a "Buccaneer"?

The Legal Definition of a Buccaneer:
  1. A pirate, especially one of the freebooters who preyed on Spanish shipping in the West Indies during the 17th century.

  2. A ruthless speculator or adventurer


Buccaneer is a term that was used in the later 17th century in the Caribbean Islands. The origins of the term "Buccaneer" are somewhat disputed, but the most likely source comes from the French word "Boucanier".

These Boucaniers originally were hunters who were poaching cattle and pigs. They would smoke the meat on wooden frames, "boucans", so that it could be saved for a later time.

The Boucaniers were taught this by the local Arawak tribes from Santo Domingo, calling the method Barbicoa - which is where the word and method of Barbecue originated.


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