[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: ngagh

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Thu Oct 11 08:30:42 PDT 2018

Klingon word: ngagh
Part of speech: verb
Definition: mate with

  targhlIj yIngagh!  yIruch! 
  Go mate with your targ!  (PK, punctuation uncertain)


(MO on st.expertforum 7/1998):  Seems to me that the phrase that best fills in the blank ('I cannot be insulted by (a) [tribble f----r]') is the one suggested a while back by both SuStel and Qermaq:  {yIH ngaghwI'} (I'd leave the "a" in the English: 'I cannot be insulted by a {yIH ngaghwI'}.')  If this is translated as 'one who mates with a tribble,' perhaps it sounds too formal or clinical (in English, not in Klingon) to function as a curse or insult.  If it's translated 'tribble mater-wither' or something like that, it has a somewhat better tone, but it's questionable English and therefore lacks punch.  But English isn't the issue here; Klingon is, and, unless I'm missing the point, {yIH ngaghwI'} should work.  I trust that, in the story, the Federation officer who utters the phrase is prepared for what the Klingon may do next.

(De'vID, 1/14/2014):  "I also have a small tidbit of info regarding (our lack of) sex terminology in Klingon. Marc told me that the reason Maltz might seem like a prude is because he's trying to fit in with the culture he's found himself in. (We had a discussion on the grammar of {nga'chuq} because of the Stonewall campaign.) That is, in-universe, Klingons in general have no problems talking about sex and other bodily functions, unlike Humans, but Maltz is reluctant to talk about sex for reasons specific to himself. My out-of-universe interpretation of this is that Marc is constrained in what he can say about sexual terminology because he's required, or perhaps feels he is required, to keep the Klingon language "family friendly" -- at least to the degree that swear words "defy explanation", violence is kept at a Trek-appropriate almost cartoonish level, and "mating" is referred to only in the context of an institution which is somewhat like marriage ("She was my mate!") or in quasi-comical insults ("Go mate with your targ!"). I guess he also has to leave open the possibility that the Star Trek writers may later contradict whatever he reveals about this issue, since they have operated thus far under the same set of "family friendly" constraints. 


  Worf told Riker he does without sex as he would need a Klingon woman "for what you call love" because "human females are too fragile." (TNG "Justice"; cf. also TNG "Yesterday's Enterprise"?)

  When Klingon women are ready to mate they slink around like a "Hellenian lynx" while making low growling sounds like a "{chemvaH} in heat". (PK)  Q-Riker created a provocatively-clad submissive Klingon woman who behaved this way for Worf; this was apparently Worf's idea of sex. (TNG "Hide and Q")

  Klingon males initiate courtship by biting the female. (VOY "Someone to Watch Over Me")

  "Poetry plays a prominent role in Klingon mating behavior.  The female typically roars, throws heavy objects, and claws at her partner.  The male reads love poetry and, as Worf put it, "ducks a lot"." (TKW 17) 

  B'Ellana was reading "Warrior Women at the River of Blood", a Klingon romance novel - apparently in Federation Standard, as Tom Paris saw the text on her PADD - while eating in the mess hall.  The female character was considering putting a dagger to her lover's throat to initiate a romantic encounter.  B'Ellana commented to Paris that Klingons do have a romantic side, it's "just a bit more aggressive" than humans. (VOY "Real Life")

  After meaningful sex, some Klingons feel honor-bound to "take the oath" (i.e. marry for life) (TNG "The Emissary")

nga'chuq  	sex (i.e. perform sex, always subject) [HQ 1.3:9] (v)
Sep 		breed (v)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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