tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Apr 16 07:32:17 2015

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

Steven Boozer (

> Klingon Word of the Day for Thursday, April 16, 2015
> Klingon word: SenwI'
> Part of speech: noun
> Definition: thumb
> Source: HQ:v10n2p7

HQ 10.2:7f.:  the word {nItlh} "finger" means any finger, including the thumb. A hand has {vagh nItlhDu'} (five fingers), not {loS nItlhDu'} (four fingers) and a thumb. There is a specific word referring to each of the five fingers, and these words are nouns derived from verbs by means of the suffix {-wI'} (thing which does); there are two pairs for thumb. The Federation Standard translation of the verbs is a little strained, but they mean something like "use (the specific finger)". The associated 'finger nouns' would be literally, though quite awkwardly, "thing which is used in a thumb-like manner" or perhaps "thing which thumbs" or even "thumber" ... The two sets of words relating to thumb are pretty much interchangeable, though small children usually use {rIl} and {rIlwI'} rather than {Sen} and {SenwI'}. Similarly, adults speaking to or about children tend to use {rIl} and {rIlwI'}. Both words are used together in an idiomatic expression meaning "everybody, everyone": {SenwI'Du' rIlwI'Du' je", literally "thumbs and thumbs". This expression is often heard without the plural suffixes: {SenwI' rIlwI' je}. 

rIlwI'  	thumb (n)

Sen  		use the thumb (v)
rIl  		use the thumb (v)

Heng 		finger holes in a musical instrument (v)
'uy 		press down (v)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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