tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon May 03 07:40:15 1999

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Re: Doq'a' SuvwI'pu'?

> Q: Doq'a' SuvwI'pu'?
> A: ghobe'.  SuD!
: I have no idea why, but I am laughing at this.  What is this from, and what
: is it supposed to mean?

: Its origin is obscure, but it's probably the funniest joke in the known
: universe, at least among speakers of the Klingon language.  As for what
: it means, you'll have to decide that for yourself.  At least you already
: have the laugh reflex; that's a great start.

It comes from the "Power Klingon" audiotape/CD, as one of three of the most
popular Klingon jokes the tourist should know.  The other two are:

 Qo'noSDaq paw cha' DIvI' beq.
 tlhIngan 'avwI' lughom.
 lutlhob:  <naDevvo' vaS'a'Daq majaHlaH'a'?>
 jang 'avwI':  <lIchopbe'chugh ghewmey!>

 'avwI'vaD jatlh qama':  <jIghung.>
 jang 'avwI':  <jIghung je.>
 jatlh qama':  <jI'oj.>
 jang 'avwI':  <jI'oj je.>
 jatlh qama':  <jIDoy'qu'.>
 jatlh 'avwI':  <jIDoy'be'!>

As for what it means, I think Okrand included it as an example of humor that
simply doesn't translate across cultures - not to mention species - even when
you understand the grammar and vocabulary perfectly.  (In fact, that's the
whole premise of "Power Klingon": learning to understand the cultural meaning
of what you hear, as opposed to its literal translation.)  Others have
speculated that the joke is a pun on {SuD} "gamble, take a chance, take a
- an important quality in a successful Klingon warrior.  

Maltz, of course, hasn't said a word.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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