[tlhIngan Hol] Ha'DIbaHHom

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Aug 9 10:08:08 PDT 2016

qunnoq :
> If I write {Ha'DIbaHHom} will you understand
> a. little animal in size
> b. little animal in age
> or both ? 

Without any other information, I would understand option (a).
(TKD 21):  [{-Hom} (diminutive)] is the opposite of the augmentative suffix [{-'a'}]. It indicates that what the noun refers to is smaller, less important, or less powerful than it would be without the suffix.

Note the absence of "younger".  The examples given in TKD all make sense as "smaller, less important":  {be'Hom} girl; {loDHom} boy; {juHHom} shack; {lupDujHom} shuttlecraft; {mangHom} cadet; {nuHHom} small arms; {SuSHom} wisp of air; {rojHom} truce, temporary peace; {QaghHom} minor error; {vengHom} village; {yuQHom} planetoid -- all make sense 
Of course, children and young animals are usually "smaller, less important, or less powerful" than the adult forms but youth is not implied by the suffix per se.  In fact, Okrand once dismissed this:

(KCD; cf. HQ 5.1:20):  A {Qa'Hom} ["titmouse"] is not a young {Qa'}, but it does bear a vague resemblance to its namesake.

Some more examples:

(st.klingon 10/1998):  Qov's suggestion, {QelHom} [for medic, paramedic, etc.], consisting of {Qel} "doctor" plus the diminutive suffix {-Hom}, is also an acceptable form (and is an excellent illustration of the diminutive suffix - the word means "not quite a doctor" or "lesser doctor" or the like).

  tlhIngan toQDujHom 'oH 
  It's a [little] Klingon Bird of Prey ornament. (Hallmark)

"a little Bird of Prey" - i.e. a Christmas tree ornament with...

  Qapqu' wovmoHbogh janHommey 
  It even has working lights! (Hallmark) 

(st.k 6/97):  That is, "little devices that cause (something) to be light or bright" or "little devices that brighten (something)" or "little devices that light (something) up" or the like.

  bo'DaghHom lo' 
  use a little scoop KGT

which is an idiom for "make less of something than it really is" or "minimize the importance of something")

Okrand also discusses {-Hom} passim in KGT:

(KGT 61):  A spike is a {DuQwI'} and the small spikes on the d'k tahg [pommel] are usually called {DuQwI'Hommey} (little spikes)." 

(KGT 152):  [{Hom} "weakling, runt, scrawny one, skinny one" (slang)] literally means bone, but its slang usage is no doubt influenced by the noun suffix {-Hom}, a diminutive that adds a meaning of smallness or lack of importance (compare {taj} [knife] and {tajHom} [little knife, the extra small blade in the handle of a d'k tahg knife]). There are a number of standard counterparts to {Hom}, such as {pujwI'} (weakling), {langwI'} (one who is thin), and {runwI'} (one who is short).

(KGT 74-75):  The general term for a percussion instrument of any kind is {'In}. ... Other members of this group of instruments are hit with a stick of some kind. The stick often resembles a small hammer; when it does, it is termed {mupwI'Hom} (literally, "small striker"). A plain stick is a {naQHom} (literally, "small cane" or "small staff"). 

Okrand has also used {-Hom} more imaginatively, in a non-literal sense:

  Ho'Du'lIjDaq to'baj 'uSHom lughoDlu'bogh tu'lu' 
  You have some stuffed *tobbaj* leg in your teeth. PK

i.e. "a little piece of *tobbaj* leg"

  beyHom bey bey'a' jachtaH latlh tlhInganpu' 
  others [Klingons] roar in a great crescendo. S31

This one is my favorite:  "minor howl, [regular] howl, major howl" = crescendo!

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

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list