tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Nov 07 10:15:09 2005

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Re: Klingon WOTD: qu' (verb)

Steven Boozer ([email protected])

>Klingon word:   qu'
>Part of Speech: verb Definition:     be great, wonderful, excellent,
>splendid (slang) Source: KGT (224 KE, 241 EK, 244 EK, 258 EK, 263 EK)

The verb {qu'} literally means "be fierce". In its slang sense, it may be 
used adjectivally, as in {taj qu'} ("excellent knife"; literally, "fierce 
knife"), or as the main verb in a sentence, as in {qu' taj} ("the knife is 
excellent"; literally, "the knife is fierce"). Though, from the Klingon 
point of view, equating being "fierce" with being "great, wonderful", and 
so on seems quite natural, the slang meaning of {qu'} probably receives 
further support because it sounds just like the verb suffix {-qu'}, which 
is used for emphasis (compare {Qatlh}, "difficult", and {Qatlhqu'}, "very 
difficult"). When applied to people or animals, it is not always clear 
whether the slang or nonslang meaning of {qu'} is intended. That is, 
{SuvwI' qu'} ("fierce warrior") could be interpreted literally, or it could 
mean "excellent warrior". When applied to anything other than people or 
animals, the slang meaning is more likely. Thus, {may' qu'} ("fierce 
battle") is really a way of saying "excellent battle". In Klingon, only a 
participant in a battle, not the battle itself, can literally be described 
as "fierce". The word {qu'} may also be used as an exclamation ("Great! 
Wonderful!"). In this sense, it seems to be interchangeable with {chong} 
(literally, "be vertical"; see page 148). The slang usage of {qu'} is 
currently extremely common among Klingons, and it has pretty much displaced 
another slang term with the same set of meanings ("excellent, wonderful, 
etc."), {Huv} (literally, "be clear, not obstructed"), which was in vogue 
not all that long ago. The use of {Huv} for "excellent" is now considered 
old-fashioned. This is also the case with {nong} ("passionate"), an even 
older slang term for "excellent". (As of this writing, the slang usage of 
{nong} seems to be making a comeback, but it is still too early to say 
whether this will really happen.) Nonslang verbs expressing similar ideas 
are {Dun} ("be wonderful, great"), {pov} ("be excellent"), and, as an 
exclamation, {maj!} ("Good!").  [KGT 159-61]

To describe someone as {SaS} is certainly insulting, as in {SaS DIvI' HoD} 
("The Federation captain is shallow"--that is, literally, "The Federation 
captain is horizontal"). ... A slang word with a meaning similar to {SaS} 
is {natlh} (literally, "consume, use up" [see page 155]). The opposite 
meaning--that is, "profound", "thorough" and "good"--is often expressed by 
the slang verbs {chong} (literally, "be vertical") and {qu'} (literally, 
"be fierce").  [KGT 164f.]

See also {qu'} (literally, "be fierce"), another slang term used to express 
approval. [KGT 149]

Slang terms expressing the opposite of {natlh}--that is, approval--are 
{chong} (literally, "be vertical") and {qu'} (literally, "be fierce."  [KGT 

>     qu' (verb) - be fierce

"Even in the midst of ferocious Jem'Hadar, there is no doubt who is the 
fiercest warrior." (i.e. Worf; KGT 160, ill. caption]

qu'bej QoghlIj
Your krol is definitely fierce. PK (N.B. a compliment!)

I am fierce. STC:KLS

tlhIngan qu' law' tera'ngan qu' puS
the Klingon is more fierce than the Terran. (HQ 13.1:8)

tlhIngan qu' law' Hoch qu' puS
the Klingon is the fiercest of all (HQ 13.1:8)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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