tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Apr 25 16:26:26 1999

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Re: Klingon names

qa'ral wrote: 

> What do we know about the full form of a Klingon name?  

    "It is always proper to call somebody by his or her name alone ... 
    During formal occasions, it is also not uncommon to refer to someone 
    by his or her father's name, such as {mogh puqloD} (son of Mogh) or 
    a combination of given name plus father's name, such as {HuS 'atrom 
    puqbe'} (Huss, daughter of A'trom)." (KGT p.197) 

> Gleaning bits and pieces from various (and perhaps incompatible) Web pages,
> my synthesis would look something like this:
>         <be'etor ja'roD-puqbe' SantaI-DuraS tuq> 
>         chosen name - patronymic - honorific - line name
> B'Etor Daughter of Ja'rod, Santai of the House of Duras 
> (SantaI seemed a plausible honorific for B'Etor)

The honorifics *zantai*, *epetai* et al. are klingonaase terms from John
novel The Final Reflection and have never been used by Paramount, so we omit
them when speaking tlhIngan Hol.  Note that they are widely used by Klingon
groups however, which is why they are found on so many web pages.

As promised, here's Okrand's post on Klingon names:

------------------------ begin quoted text -------------------------
From: "Marc Okrand" <>
Date: 01 Sep 1997
Subject: Re: family names

According to Maltz, there are at least a couple of ways to identify a
Klingon's house (or <tuq>).

One way is the way you suggested.  To say "Kahlor of the House of Molor"
(or, if you prefer, "Kahlor from the House of Molor"), you'd say simply
"Kahlor, House of Molor":

    qeylor molor tuq

If you want to be even more formal, the name of the father may be used as
well -- again, as you suggested.  "Kahlor, son of Kahlin, of the House of
Molor" is "Kahlor, son of Kahlin, House of Molor":

    qeylor qeylIn puqloD molor tuq

The other way is actually more formal and a bit formulaic.  To say "Kahlor
is of the House of Molor" (or "Kahlor is from the House of Molor"), you
could say:

    tay' qeylor molor tuq je

This is literally "Kahlor and the House of Molor are together" (<tay'> "be
together," <je> "and").  The construction is no doubt based on the Klingon
proverb "One is always of his tribe" (literally, "a person and his house
are always together"):

    reH tay' ghot tuqDaj je

If Kahlor is speaking, he could say, "I am of the House of Molor": 

    matay' jIH molor tuq je

Or if one were speaking to Kahlor, one could say, "You are of the House of

    Sutay' SoH molor tuq je

Literally, these are "The House of Molor and I are together" (<matay'> "we
are together," <jIH> "I," <molor tuq> "House of Molor," <je> "and"), "The
House of Molor and you are together" (<Sutay'> "you [plural] are together,"
<SoH> "you").  The independent pronouns (<jIH> "I" and <SoH> "you" in the
examples above) are always used in this construction.  
------------------------ end quoted text -------------------------

(I hope you noticed that Okrand did make a pun on the Fordian *sutai* in his
last example!)

> 1) As a special case, can I get away with this word order and the lack of
> <bogh>?  Surely, space-age Klingons don't take the time to say <ja'roD
> puqbe'bogh be'etor 'ej DuraS tuq SantaIbogh>.  The war would be over by the
> time they finished roll call.

As you saw, {-bogh} is not used in names.  Besides, {-bogh} ONLY appears on
verbs, of which there were none in your examples.

> 2) The Web pages I've looked at all omit <tuq>.  For brevity's sake it might
> be convenient to omit <be'> (and <loD>) as well, making the patronymic
> <ja'roD-puq>, Child of Ja'rod.

The absence of {tuq} in you Web pages may well be because it only first
in KCD, the new vocabulary of which was subsequently published in KGT.

In the episodes, Worf has occasionally been called simply "the son of
Mogh", so
I suppose "child of Mogh" could be used by politically-correct Klingons.  

> 3) What about the redundancy of <DuraS ja'roD-puq epetaI-DuraS>?  (My
> impression is that <thlingan tuqmey> in TNG and DS9 generally took the name
> of their current head, while the Web creations tend to be persistent family
> names.)

In tlhIngan Hol, the klingonaase term *epetai* would probably be {tuq DevwI'},
on the model of {yejquv DevwI'} "Leader of the High Council", and shortened to
{DevwI'} in informal usage, as in fact Gowron is so called on board the BoP in

I'm also a little confused as to how Klingon houses operate.

Although Duras was the head of the House of Duras, Worf and his brother Kurn
were always said to be of the "House of Mogh" before it was dissolved - their
deceased father who perished at least twenty-odd years prior to TNG - and
of the "House of Worf", who technically headed the house as Mogh's eldest
Likewise, B'Etor and Lursa were said to be of the "House of Duras", even after
the death of their brother, Duras.  (Perhaps a woman cannot officially head a
Great House, but can only be its caretaker?)  

Formally then, Duras would be called {DuraS ja'roD puqloD DuraS tuq} "Duras,
the son of Ja'rod, of the House of Duras."  It does seem a bit redundant.  

The answer may well be that there are two different Duras's involved here. 
Perhaps houses are named for the men who originally founded them, as in Ford,
or their most famous member.  Thus Mogh and Duras could be traditional names
within their houses, occasionally given to male children over the
We know, for instance, that Worf's grandfather was also named Worf, a general
who was Kirk and McCoy's court-appointed defender during their trial on Kronos
in ST6.  In  KCD, both Pok and his father Torghn belong to the ancient
House of
SepIch, *not* the House of Torghn.  (In the game, I believe SepIch was listed
as one of those Klingons who originally conquered and settled on the planet
Taganika generations before.)  Gen. Martok may have founded the House of
once he was commissioned an officer and gained sufficient rank to be what Ford
calls a "line-founder".  (This may have been one of the reasons he adopted
into his house: he's building a line.  I wonder whether his invitation
Worf's son Alexander as well?)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons 

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