tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 02 08:55:08 2009

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RE: Klingon Draydels

Steven Boozer (

>Last night, my wife and in-laws were spinning draydels and I got to
>While Scrabble and Boggle require knowledge of tlhIngan Hol to play (and
>in the case of the sets we used, the ability to read pIqaD), the
>draydels, despite being labeled in Hebrew, don't require you to
>understand Hebrew.
>So if I were to label a draydel in pIqaD, they'd still be able to play.
>Now before I get started, has anyone done this yet?

AFAIK no one has.  For those unfamiliar with draydels, see the WikiPedia article ( ). From the article:

  The Yiddish word "dreydl" comes from the word "dreyen" ("to turn"). 
  The Hebrew word "sevivon" comes also from the root "SBB" ("to turn")
  and was invented by Itamar Ben-Avi (the son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda)
  when he was 5 years old.

So you could call it a *{tlhe'wI'} from {tlhe'} "turn", but I think *{DIngwI'} "spinner" works much better, which works for any sort of spinning top or toy.
  Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet:
  נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin), which together form the
  acronym for "נס גדול היה שם" (*Nes Gadol Haya Sham* – "a great
  miracle happened there"). These letters also form a mnemonic for
  the rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel: Nun stands
  for the Yiddish word *nite* ("nothing"), Hei stands for *halb*
  ("half"), Gimel for *gants* ("all"), and Shin for *shteln* ("put").

Fortunately we have words for all four of the Yiddish words:

pagh  "nothing"
bID   "half"
Hoch  "all"
lan   "place, put"

The trick will be coming up with a matching four-word Klingon equivalent for the phrase "a great miracle happened there".  The first word is easy: {pa'} "there".

Canon Master of the Klingons

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