[tlhIngan Hol] I've had it with the finger verbs !

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon Aug 1 09:06:24 PDT 2016

lawrence m. schoen :
>> When will this discrimination against rIlwI'pu' end?
> what discrimination ?

(HQ 10.2:7-8):  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}.

And speaking of thumbs...

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

rIlwI'  	thumb (n)
SenwI'  	thumb (n)
(HQ 10.2:8f.):  Similarly, {nujDajDaq rIl'egh ghu}, literally "at his/her mouth, the baby uses at him/herself his/her thumb", is used for "the baby sucks its thumb".

(HQ 10.2:8):  {nISwI' HIch Sen} "fire the disruptor pistol". (lit. "use the thumb in the way it's most appropriately used on a disruptor pistol", "use the thumb to activate the disruptor pistol", "thumb the disruptor pistol" 

FYI:  Klingon disruptor pistols have a firing stud {chu'wI'} on the butt of the gun above the handle which needed to be pressed with the thumb - or "thumbed" - in order to fire.  A good picture (with labels) is at http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/purpleelaphants/images/disruptor.gif .

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

tlhIngan ghantoH pIn'a'
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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