tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Jun 09 20:07:19 1999

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Re: 'oy'DI' QuchwIj, jIQuch!

>> ... just something to pass the time between rounds of forehead butting
>> and mu'qaD veS.

> Any ideas as to the Klingon for *forehead butting*? /qIp/ (hit with hand,
> fist, implement) would seem inapplicable.
: KFGT gives us (paw') for "butting heads"

This use of {paw'} is slang.  Okrand explains in detail in "Klingon for the
Galactic Traveller" (p. 157f.):

  This verb describes a very common habit among Klingon warriors, particularly
  at festive occasions. Two Klingons stand close together, facing each other,
  and, with great joviality, slam their foreheads together. The word literally
  means "collide" and is usually (though hardly exclusively) heard when
  referring to vehicles. In both its literal and slang usages, {paw'} takes a
  plural subject: {paw' lupDujHommey} ("The shuttlecraft collide"). To refer
  to a something in motion colliding with something stationary, a different
  verb, {ngeQ} ("bump into, collide with") is used, as in {raS ngeQ tera'ngan}
  ("The Terran bumps into the table"). When the subject of {paw'} is persons,
  the most common interpretation of the verb is the slang one-that is, "butt
  heads. Thus, if one were to say {paw' tera'nganpu'} ("The Terrans collide"),
  this would probably be taken to mean that the Terrans butt heads, as
  unlikely as the image might be. When the subject of {paw'} is anything other
  than persons, the most likely interpretation is the non-slang one,
  If one wanted to say that two persons collide but not imply that they butt
  heads, the verb {ngeQ} would probably be used along with the suffix {-chuq}
  ("each other") as in {ngeQchuq tera'nganpu'} ("The Terrans collide with each
  other"). There is no simple non-slang verb for "butt heads."'

Read his last sentence again: "There is no simple non-slang verb for 'butt
heads.'"  It sounds as if Okrand realized that the line

  qIp'egh nachDu'chaj tlhIngan SuvwI'pu'. 
  Klingon warriors are butting heads.

heard in "Conversational Klingon" was confusing, to say the least.  

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons 

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