[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: 'e'levan

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Feb 7 06:48:35 PST 2018

>> (Lieven < MO, 3/2017)
In my notes this means that MO (Marc Okrand) wrote this to Lieven, who in turn posted it to this list in March 2017.

"The translation titmouse is really only an approximation of what this word means. A Qa'Hom is a small animal considered rather insignificant. The word literally means `little Qa'.' A Qa' is a larger, more dangerous animal. A Qa'Hom is not a young Qa', but it does bear a vague resemblance to its namesake." (KCD; cf. HolQeD 5.1:20)

I'm told that, as portrayed in the image in the KCD Language Lab, this bears no resemblance whatever to the small Terran bird called a "titmouse" but looks more like a four-footed rodent with a lot of hair, somewhat like a little hedgehog in fact. (Someone at the KCD project probably didn't realize that a titmouse is actually a bird!) It sounds like Okrand was aware of the error and tried to explain it away.

Note that the entry on Qa'Hom is in the "Curses" section of the program. The epithet Qa'Hom can apparently be applied to someone (or some animal) that may act like it's a vicious Qa' but is, in fact, just a little, harmless creature, fluffing itself up to make itself look bigger. Calling someone a Qa'Hom obviously implies that he is weak and unable to defend himself, and thus not worth killing. This is how Gowron uses it in the introduction to the KCD Immersion Studies.  (Thanks SuStel.  I didn't have the exact quote from Gowron.  (I was never able to run the KCD program on my computer at home!)

A Qa'Hom is "all bark and no bite" as we say in English.  In another context I would use Qa'Hom to translate the Maoist phrase "paper tiger".

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

From: tlhIngan-Hol [mailto:tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org] On Behalf Of SuStel

On 2/7/2018 9:03 AM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:
> "I think {Qa'Hom} is okay for mouse. And Maltz wasn't aware of
> any native Klingon elephant-like animal. So go with a Klingon
> version of Federation Standard. How about {'e'levan}?"  (Lieven <
> MO, 3/2017)

Who wrote this ? lieven or 'oqranD ? Is Qa'Hom ca'non for "mouse" ?

It was written by Okrand. It doesn't mean Qa'Hom means mouse; it means Qa'Hom is an acceptable substitute for mouse, like a vIghro' is not a cat but is close enough to just call it a cat.

But if you encounter a use of the word Qa'Hom, you don't necessarily have to translate it at all. In the introduction to KCD, Gowron complains that "there is no honor in being a kwahom." He's not talking about mice; he's talking about Qa'Hommey.



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