[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: lopno'

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Dec 19 09:00:59 PST 2018

This scene from KCD is our only example of the verb {yem}, which Okrand translates as "sin".  AFAIK Okrand has only commented about "sin" once (oddly enough not in the paq'batlh):

(KGT 166f.):  In the Krotmag dialect, {yeb} (wrist) is pronounced {yem}, identical to the verb {yem} (sin). In parallel fashion, {ngIb} (ankle) is pronounced {ngIm}, identical to the verb {ngIm} (be putrid). Thus, the wrist gained an association with sinning, or dishonorable behavior; the ankle, with putridity, perhaps moral decay.

... though he did hinted at what it means for 24th century Klingons in TKW:

(TKW 189):  those who violate the rules of their own cultures and do not observe their own virtues are acting dishonorably and are not to be trusted.

(TKW 190):  those who are found to have violated the rules of society are often punished by being forced to do particularly strenuous or distasteful work.

(TKW 47):  The use of the word {pop} suggests that virtue is the honor bestowed as a result of acting in a manner respectful of society's values, not simply advocating them.

All of which explains why Vok's retort {bIyem'a'!} was so effective.


-----Original Message-----
From: Felix Malmenbeck / loghaD

If you decide to throw Vok out, you will be accused of "dishonor[ing] your ancestors by ignoring the dictates of the {lopno'}".

From: Voragh <sboozer at uchicago.edu>

[...] in the KCD Immersion Studies - i.e. the interactive story -  Vok says, "The celebration was declared a {lopno'}.  You have invited all the spirits of our Klingon ancestors."  It is an "open house" celebration held on the eve of a young Klingon's {nentay}, hosted by the father of the {lopwI'}.  "Open house" means any Klingon warrior is welcome and no harm can come to them, even if they are enemies, while in your home.  The mother's duty is to welcome the guests, who bring {cha'nob} gifts.  You have the choice of honoring the guest by accepting his gift or... not!

This scene is also described in the KCD novelization.  Vok, an enemy of the House of SepIch (i.e. young Pok's clan), arrives unexpectedly (p.23f. spelling uncorrected):

       Then speaking to Pok, but looking directly into Vok's face, [K'Tar (Pok's mother)]
    said, "Throw this {veQ} out."
       Pok stood and moved toward Vok, reaching for the unwanted guest.
       "{bIyem'a'!}" Vok said.
       Pok stopped short of grabbing Vok...
       "The celebration," Vok said, "was declared a *lop'no*. You have invited the spirits of
    all our Klingon ancestors. Tradition dictates that all are welcome to the *lop 'no*. Even
    ancient rivals. Even me, K'Tar."
       "{Chut Quj}," K'Tar said.
       "{Luq ratlh}," Pok said, almost spitting his words at Vok.

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