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

Steven Boozer (

> Klingon Word of the Day for Sunday, September 29, 2013
> Klingon word: yem
> Part of speech: v.i.
> Definition: sin

Will you sin? KCD (Lang. Lab)

See the KCD novel (p. 23f.) where it seems to mean "Do you dare go against tradition?" or "Do you dare do this dishonorable thing?":

  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 
  "{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 [sic]}," K'Tar said. 
  "{Luq ratlh [sic]}," Pok said, almost spitting his words
at Vok. 

KGT 166f.  In the Krotmag dialect, {yeb} (wrist) is pronounced {yem}, identical to the verb {yem} (sin). In parallel fashion, {ngIb} (ankle) is pronounced {ngIm}, identical to the verb {ngIm} (be putrid). Thus, the wrist gained an association with sinning, or dishonorable behavior; the ankle, with putridity, perhaps moral decay.

What Klingons consider to be "sin" is unclear - especially in the 24th century - but we do have a few hints:

TKW 189:  those who violate the rules of their own cultures and do not observe their own virtues are acting dishonorably and are not to be trusted.

TKW 190:  those who are found to have violated the rules of society are often punished by being forced to do particularly strenuous or distasteful work.

TKW 47:  The use of the word {pop} suggests that virtue is the honor bestowed as a result of acting in a manner respectful of society's values, not simply advocating them.

TKW 47:  The Klingon verb in the expression, {pab}, is here translated "adhere", but it is also used to mean "follow", in the sense of following rules, suggesting perhaps that, though not officially laws, virtues should be followed as if they were.

Trek notes:

SPOCK:  The machine [i.e. M-5] is committing suicide to atone for the sin of murder. 
M-5:    Murder is contrary to the laws of man and God.
KIRK:   ... an offense against the laws of God and man.
 (various lines from TOS "The Ultimate Computer")

Related vocabulary:

pab 		follow (rules, customs), adhere to (v)
HeS 		commit a crime (v)
Hat 		be illegal (v)
wem 		violate (v)
QuS 		conspire (v)
pIch 		blame (v)
DIv 		be guilty (v)
naDHa' 	discommend (v)
quvHa' 	be dishonored (v)
web 		be disgraced (v)
quvHa'moH 	dishonor (v)
qal 		be corrupt (v)
yuD 		be dishonest (v)

HeS  		  crime (n)
quvHa'ghach  dishonor (n.)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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