tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri May 04 07:29:46 2007

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Re: Klingon WOTD: Quj (noun)

Steven Boozer (

>This is the Klingon Word Of The Day for Friday, May 4, 2007.
>Klingon word:   Quj
>Part of Speech: noun
>Definition:     game

Never used in canon.

Cultural notes:

   playing a game just for fun is an outlandish notion. (TKW 191)

   "To win" a competition is {Qap}. (If it's a decisive or particularly
   gratifying victory, they'd say {Qapchu'}, even though that's a bit
   redundant... To a Klingon, to win is to function perfectly. The
   opposite notion, "lose", is commonly {luj}, also meaning "fail". (HQ 2.4)

   Note that {luj} is also used to mean "lose" (as in "lose at a game").
   To say "I lose" is {jIluj}; to say "I lose in a big way" is {jIlujqu'}
   or {jIlujchu'}. The slang term {vonlu'} ["fail utterly "] is not used
   in reference to games." (KGT 165-66)

Glen Proechel used *{DeQ qIpchu'} for "score a point", but officially 
{pe''egh} is to "keep score" (lit. "cut oneself"): "It comes from an old 
Klingon habit of keeping track of accomplishments by making small cuts on 
one's skin, usually on the face, as a tally." (TKW 135)

AFAIK there are only two "authentic" Klingon games known: {qa'vaQ} 
(involves throwing a {ghIntaq} spear through a rolling half-meter hoop 
{gho} which hones the skills of the hunt [seen in TNG "Birthright II"]) and 
{qeylIS mInDu'} Eyes of Kahless (a guessing game with dice where the winner 
receives a punch [seen in KCD]).

Several games are known from Klingon fandom:  *{DIjchu'} (KLI), 
*{mu'reHwI'} (KLI), *{nuq 'oH} (KLI), *{pachmu'} (ILS), *{pegh mu'} (KLI), 
*{poQ'ar} (KLI), *{qaDHom cha'} (KLI), *{'Iv jIH} (KLI); *{DIS Qujmey} the 
"Year Games" (ILS); *{Huchmay' Quj} Monopoly (source?); *{vutlu'meH Quj} 
recipe contest (ILS); *{wa' cha' wa'maH} (Joel Anderson)

>     Quj (verb) - play a game

Used in canon:

   DaH ghew yIQuj
   Cricket, please. (RT)

There is an odd phrase {chut Quj} "play by the rules (of the law)" (?) from 
the KCD novel p.23f:

     Then speaking to Pok, but looking directly into Vok's face, [K'Tar]
   said, "Throw this {veQ} out."
     Pok stood and moved toward Vok, reaching for the unwanted guest.
     "{bIyem'a'}!" Vok said. Pok stopped short of grabbing Vok...
     "The celebration," Vok said, "was declared a *lop'no*. You have invited
   the spirits of all our Klingon ancestors. Tradition dictates that all are
   welcome to the *lop 'no*. Even ancient rivals. Even me, K'Tar."
     "{Chut Quj}," K'Tar said.
     "{Luq ratlh}," Pok said, almost spitting his words at Vok.

Someone (I don't remember who) suggested that K'Tar really said {chut QIj}, 
"He explained the law."  The author sometimes changed I's to u or added 
extraneous u's in other places; for example, *Quapla'* instead of *Qapla'*.

Related verbs:

{qaD} challenge; {'ov} compete

Don't confuse {Quj} "play a game" with {chu'} "play (a musical instrument)" 
or {reH} "play (in general?; e.g. "your children playing at your feet" from 

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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