[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: vup

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Dec 4 07:57:33 PST 2019

Klingon word: vup
Part of speech: verb
Definition: pity
Source: TKD

  qa'Daj vupjaj qotar 
     puj ghaH 
     'ach batlh Heghpu' tlhInganvam 
  May Kotar be merciful on his spirit,
     For no matter his faults, at least 
     This Klingon brother died with honor. (PB)

  Hoch jaghpu'Daj HoHbogh SuvwI' yIvup 
  "Pity the warrior who slays all his foes." (KGT)

(KGT 107):  Among the common Klingon idioms are some phrases taken from mythology and literature. For example, the expression {Hoch jaghpu'Daj HoHpu'} (He/she has killed all his/her enemies) is used to describe a person who is leading a meaningless, empty life, one lacking any challenge. It is derived from a line in the poem {lu qeng} (The Fall of Kang; literally, "Kang falls") by G'trok:  {Hoch jaghpu'Daj HoHbogh SuvwI' yIvup}, the classic Federation Standard translation of which is "Pity the warrior who slays all his foes." 

Sisko quoted this famous line from memory.  Apparently the poem is required reading at Starfleet Academy. (DS9 "Second Sight")

"Ah, sentimentality, mercy—the emotions of peace. Your weakness, Captain Kirk.” (Kor, TOS "Errand of Mercy")

"Why should a slave show mercy to the enslavers?" (Lokai, TOS "Let that Be Your Last Battlefield")

Note the similar idiom  {pung Hutlh} :

  HochvaD pung Hutlh qul 
  flames have no mercy for anyone  (PB)

QoS 		be sorry (v)
pay 		regret (v)
may 		be fair (v)
tlhIj 		apologize (v)
qeHHa' 		forgive (v)
noD 		retaliate, seek revenge (v)

pung 		mercy (n)
puj  		weakness (n) 
bortaS 		revenge, vengeance (n)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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