[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: Heng

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Fri Aug 3 08:40:36 PDT 2018

Klingon word: Heng
Part of speech: verb
Definition: finger (holes, strings of instrument) to vary sound
Source: KGT (216 KE, 242 EK)

qung wejDIch HengmeH qewwI' lo' 
(in order) to finger the third hole, he/she uses the ring finger  (HQ 10.2:7)

  "Wind instruments (there is no overall term for them) range from the simple flute or fife ({Dov'agh}), generally crafted from a bone, to the highly complex {meSchuS}. ... The instrument's pitch and timbre are modified by fingering strategically placed holes in the tubing and by moving the hands in various ways (to move the fingers in this way is to {Heng})." (KGT 75)

  "A third category of Klingon instrument is the {SuSDeq}, the windbag or bellows type. ... For one form of {SusDeq}, the {may'ron}, the player stretches the bag out to fill it with air and squeezes it together to empty it while directing the flow of air by pressing buttons mounted on boards on either end of the bag, much like an accordion. To finger the {may'ron} [accordion, concertina]--that is, to push the buttons--is to {Heng}, the same word applied to the {meSchuS}." (KGT 75-76)

  "To produce music, one may either pluck ({pang}) or strum ({yach}, which also means stroke or pet) the strings. The tone produced is varied by touching the string or strings at various points while plucking or strumming. The verb used for this, perhaps translatable as to finger, is the same as the one used for wind instruments: {Heng}." (KGT 76)

  "The verb {Heng} finger holes in a musical instrument is a general term. When a specific finger is being referred to, one of the finger verbs is usually used..." (HQ 10.2:8)

  "The 'finger verbs' are used when talking about specific ways of using a particular device (weapon, computer control panel, even musical instrument)" (HQ 10.2:7)

[i.e. {Sen} & {rIl} use the thumb, {SIq} use the index finger, {qay} use the second finger, {qew} use the ring finger, {qan} use the pinkie). In the article on fingers and thumbs, Okrand gives the example {SeHlaw SIq} "touch the control panel with the index finger" (HQ 10.2:8)]

 chu' 		play [an instrument] (v)

Note that {Heng} doesn't seem to be used with other devices, computers for example:

  "And a [computer] mouse is a {'eQway'} ... it could have a {leQ} "button" (but more generally "switch") and it usually has two (a {poS leQ} and a {nIH leQ}, left button and right button respectively) ... To "click" one of the buttons is to {'uy} press down (even though the action is really to press down and then release). To say to "click" on a link, for example, the verb {wIv} select, choose is used rather than {'uy}." (Lieven, 11/16/2014 < qepHom 2014)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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