tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Jul 28 08:19:47 2009

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RE: News from Maltz

Steven Boozer (

>> 1) The noun {vIlle'} means something close to "minion". [The word
>> in English is often used to refer to a loyal or even fawning
>> servant of someone who is typically considered powerful.  Compare
>> with "henchman", who has the same general job but is usually a
>> mercenary.]

>>> Maybe not intended, but when you read {vIlle'} backwards, it sounds
>>> like "élève", french for "student". Not only one being taught in
>>> school, but also like a minion. (maybe just a coincidence?)

>>>> My guess is that it sounds like "villain," which is the
>>>> sort of person who nearly always has minions.

>Also, wasn't there an old English word "villein" that meant something
>like servant or minion?

>From the Wiktionary ( ):
"Probably Middle English *villain* from Old French *villain* (modern: *villain*), in turn from Late Latin *villanus*, meaning serf or peasant, someone who is bound to the soil of a villa, which is to say, worked on the equivalent of a plantation in late Antiquity, in Italy or Gaul."

>> 2) The noun {vIl} is hard to define.  Maltz had given a description 
>> of something which was immediately recognized as a speed bump by 
>> everyone present, but it was apparently intended not as an actual 
>> definition but as an example of something which is "just there".
>> There is obviously an etymological relationship with and {vIlle'}, 
>> which is currently the best clue we have to its true meaning.
>> Consider someone who keeps showing up when you go places.  This
>> person doesn't necessarily have any particular importance to what
>> you're doing, and it wouldn't matter to you at all if he or she
>> weren't present, but the person is "just there".  That would be
>> a {vIl}.

E.g. an "extra" in the movies, television, etc.?  They're "just there" in the background, without any lines.  Perhaps in Trek terms, a "red shirt" -- those extras who always get killed by the villain-of-the-week in TOS.

>> It also can describe someone who hangs around, ready to help out,
>> whether or not you need anyone to help you.  Again, it wouldn't
>> make any difference to you if the person weren't there.

E.g. a "gofer"?

>It was also suggested that vIlHom could be a single ridge in a Quch.

ATTN qurgh:  Was this suggested by Okrand?

Cf. {vIl} "be ridgy (forehead)" [HQ 13.1:10].  

Aha!  Everybody has a (bumpy) forehead, it's something that's "just there".  It only became an issue when Klingons began encountering those queer smooth-foreheaded aliens.  (And the less said about those unfortunate diseased, smooth-headed "Fusion" Klingons, the better!

Canon Master of the Klingons

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