tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Dec 21 07:44:13 2007

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: Klingon WOTD: nuH bey' (noun)

Steven Boozer (

>This is the Klingon Word Of The Day for Friday, December 21, 2007.
>Klingon word:   nuH bey'
>Part of Speech: noun
>Definition:     Pride of Weapons
>Additional Notes:
>HolQeD 5:1 p. 20, from the KCD.

Jonathan Webley wrote:
> >> Does anyone know what this refers to?

Doq wrote:
> >It sounds like Okrand may have coined a collective noun, like a pride
> >of lions. It would work in a warrior culture, but I'm not sure it is a
> >good translation into English.

QeS 'utlh wrote:
>>The literal translation is "weapon(s) display". {bey'} refers to a
>>ceremonial display, perhaps a ceremonial routine or drill. We don't really
>>know what the Klingon {nuH bey'} might entail, since we have no further
>>description that I know of, [...]

Actually, there is.  According to the "Star Trek: Klingon!" CD game (KCD), 
this refers to a ceremonial display of weapons on the wall of a Klingon's 
home.  In the House of SepIch Rite of Ascension chamber, the {nuH bey'} 
displayed a bat'leth, a {naQjej} and a {ghab'etlh} ("one of three weapons 
traditionally displayed on the {nuH bey'}" [KCD narration]).

{bey'} is defined in KGT as a "ceremonial display".  From KCD we also know 
of the {betleH bey'} "bat'leth Display" and the {quv bey'} "Honor Display" 
(which looks like the House of SepIch's {nuH bey'} except it contains two 
bat'leths and two d'k tahgs. The difference is between {nuH bey'} and {quv 
bey'} was not explained and is otherwise unknown AFAIK.

For those without KCD, there's a photo of what might be Worf's {nuH bey'} 
in his Enterprise-D quarters in "The Klingon Way" (p. 124).  There's 
another photo on p. 204 labeled "ritual tools used in the Age of Ascension 
ceremony" showing two {ghanjaqmey} and a {DuQwI' pogh} (glavin) mounted on 
the wall of what I think is Worf's quarters.

>>                            [...]  the term makes me think of an armed
>>exhibition drill such as might be carried out by a platoon of soldiers.

For that we have the noun {qeq} "drill (military)" and the verbs {qeq} 
"practice, train, prepare" as well as {mI'}:

KGT p.207:  Sometimes seemingly ordinary concepts cannot be expressed 
easily. For example, the Klingon verb {mI'} may be translated "dance", but 
it also means "exercise, do calisthenics, do martial arts movements". The 
central idea of {mI'} is that a physical activity is performed that results 
in no change, other than, perhaps, in the well-being of the person 
performing the action. Thus, it is wrong to use {mI'} for "run to a place", 
though it is quite appropriate to use it for "run in place". No term in 
Federation Standard means quite the same thing as Klingon {mI'}. By the 
same token, no word in Klingon means quite the same thing as Federation 
Standard "dance". At many Klingon festivals, a popular group of performers 
is called the {qul mI'wI'pu'}, usually translated as "fire dancers". Since 
what the performer is doing is properly designated by the verb {mI'} but 
not really accurately described by the translation "dance", the 
visitor--particularly one who learned the Klingon word only by its usual 
Federation Standard translation--is in for quite a surprise when the show 

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

Back to archive top level