tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Oct 21 07:24:39 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] Klingon Word of the Day: Heghba'

Steven Boozer (

> Klingon Word of the Day for Monday, October 21, 2013
> Klingon word: Heghba'
> Part of speech: noun
> Definition: ritual suicide
> Source: Sarek  [novel]

Okrand uses {Heghbat}.  The spelling *Hegh'bat* appeared in the closed captions but all the actors pronounced it without the final /T/ in TNG "Ethics".

ST Enc (p.124):  Literally translated as "The Time to Die"-ritualized suicide. Klingon tradition held that when a Klingon was unable to stand and face his enemies, he should choose the *Hegh'bat*. The rite called for the eldest son of the celebrant, or a trusted friend, to deliver a ritual knife to the warrior, who would impale himself in the chest. The son or friend would then remove the knife and wipe it on his sleeve. Following a severe spinal injuring in 2368, Lieutenant Worf considered the *Hegh'bat*. (TNG "Ethics")

Despite the considerable sophistication of Klingon technology, significant gaps exist in Klingon medical science, in part due to cultural biases that injured warriors should be left to die or to carry out the *Hegh'bat*. (TNG "Ethics")

TKW 147:  After being paralyzed from the waist down as the result of an accident, Worf at first felt his life had ended and decided to commit ritual suicide ({Heghbat}).

TKW 176:  Worf decided to commit suicide in the traditional Klingon manner, the {Heghbat}. He asked Riker to help him and hand him the knife, but Riker pointed out that, following tradition, that role belonged to Worf's son, Alexander.

The knife used in TNG "Ethics" was the same wicked looking pronged, serrated knife seen in TNG "Night Terrors"; was this a type of {qutluch}?

Similar words:

Heghtay			death ritual (i.e. the ceremonial howl following
                       the death of a warrior) (n)
SonchIy  			*Sonchi* ceremony (confirming the death of a leader
                       as part of the Rite of Successionfollowing the 
                       death of a leader) (n)

HoH'egh			commit suicide (v)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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