tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Nov 15 13:06:19 2002

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Re: Klingon WOTD: paw' (v)

>This is the Klingon Word Of The Day for Friday, November 15, 2002.
>Klingon word:     paw'
>Part of Speech:   verb
>Definition:       butt heads
>Additional Notes: KGT.  (slang)

As described in KGT (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'
   tlhIngan SuvwI'pu'} (The Klingon warriors butt heads)... 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, "collide."
   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".

Note, however, the line from the bar scene in "Conversational Klingon":

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

which has defied analysis using the rules of standard ta' Hol for 
years.  (If it's not from a non-standard dialect, it's possible that the 
Klingon guide was a bit drunk when he said this to the Terran tourist!)

Voragh                            "All the meaning is in the context."
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons           (Ilya Kabakov, Russian artist)

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