tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Sep 07 17:06:54 1999

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RE: KLBC: mu'qaD Etymology

jatlh DujHoD:

> I've noticed that some of the tlhIngan Hol curses seem to 
> have interesting etymologies.

The operative word here is *seem* to. We don't really know the etymology of
these words. We can guess, and that can be a lot of fun, but ultimately it
doesn't really mean anything. Any one (or all) of these curses could be
derived the way you suggest, probably with an interesting story about how it
got to be curse word. It could also be a random pair of syllables that just
happens to look a pair of other words.

> QI'yaH      military duty station (QI' + yaH)
> Qu'vatlh    dutyhundred (Qu' + vatlh)
> toDSaH      care about rescue (toD + SaH)
> taHqeq      survival drill (taH + qeq)
> yIntagh     life lung (yIn + tagh)

Keep in mind that <yIntagh> also means "life support system". This make it
even more curious.

> va          shortened form of Qu'vatlh 
> (according to the TKD addendum, p. 178)

We need a good one syllable invective. It's particularly interesting that it
lacks a final consonant, which is somewhat unusual in Klingon, but gives the
speaker a lot of flexibility to add extra expressiveness to this curse.

> ghuy'cha' and ghay'cha' could be related.

> Some of these don't seem to make much sense, 
> like Qu'vatlh and yIntagh. But toDSaH and taHqeq 
> are kind of interesting. Caring about being 
> rescued (or needing to be rescued in the first 
> place) is probably not a good thing to the 
> Klingons. And why on Qo'noS would anybody 
> actually want to practice surviving (survival 
> drill)? QI'yaH, on the other hand, seems kind 
> of counterintuitive (why would a duty station 
> be a bad thing?). Do you know if MO did toDSaH 
> and taHqeq on purpose?

I haven't heard anything about Marc's intentions with the curse words. I
would not be at all surprised to learn that some of the interesting
coincidences are intentional, but I have no confirmation of that.

Beginners' Grammarian

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