[tlhIngan Hol] Does {He'} have positive or negative meaning ?

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Thu Aug 10 07:30:44 PDT 2017

qunnoq asks:
>> {He'} (v) = smell, emit odor
>> Does this mean "to smell/emit odor" in a nice way, or in a bad way ?

(KGT 85-86):  From the Klingon point of view, it is not accurate to say that a particular food is sour; rather, it tastes and smells sour. That is, sourness is not an intrinsic quality of the food; it is a perception, the effect the food has upon the senses of smell and taste, the Klingon sense of smell being particularly highly developed.  The verb meaning smell--that is, sense odors-is {largh}.  The word for emit a smell is {He'}.  This does not necessarily imply a bad smell. Odors are not considered "good" or "bad"; they are just odors.  There may be a subjective evaluation of the source of the odor, however.  It is a compliment to suggest that someone smells like *rokeg* blood pie not because the smell itself is good, but rather because the food carries with it positive associations.  On the other hand, it is most insulting to say that someone smells like rotting *forshak*. 

Presumably this also applies to the noun {pIw} "odor".  E.g.

  pa' 'elDI' Duj 'Iw HIq pIw qagh pIw je lularghlu'chu' 
  The smell of bloodwine and gagh filled the barge upon entering. (PB)

On the other hand {He'So'} "stink" does mean smell in a bad way.

 "Klingons have a highly developed sense of smell." (Data, TNG "Genesis")

"It is the scent that first speaks of love." (Worf counseling Geordi, TNG "Transfigurations")

 "Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad." (Spock to Android Norman, TOS "I, Mudd")

B'Ellana burned some Klingon incense in her quarters.  Janeway enters and comments, "Interesting fragrance. I'm surprised it hasn't set off the environmental alarms." (VOY "Nothing Human")

"I just wish we could cloak the stench!" (McCoy, commenting on the captured Bird-of-Prey Bounty. (ST4)
SEE ALSO {noSvagh} "deodorant" (n).

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." 
   -- Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet" (quoted in TOS "By Any Other Name")

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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