[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: chong

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Dec 11 07:12:07 PST 2019

Klingon word: chong
Part of speech: verb
Definition: be vertical, good (slang), excellent (slang), great (slang), wonderful (slang)

(KGT 148-49):  Literally "be vertical", this word is used to refer to one's intellect, as in {chong tlhIngan SuvwI'} ("The Klingon warrior is profound"--literally, "The Klingon warrior is vertical"). In its literal sense, this word is the opposite of {SaS} (be horizontal), and as a slang term, it is an opposite as well, as {SaS} is used to mean "be shallow, superficial". It is most likely that {chong} took on its slang meaning because of the prior existence of {SaS}, which has been used as slang for a much longer time. An equivalent meaning may be expressed without slang by using a word such as {Qubchu'} (think perfectly, think clearly), as in {Qubchu' tlhIngan SuvwI'} ("The Klingon warrior thinks clearly"). The word {chong} may also be used as an exclamation expressing approval or satisfaction, somewhat like standard {maj} (good). Thus, one may describe one's feelings about a skillfully made knife or about an upcoming social event by saying simply {chong} (literally, vertical but meaning good, excellent, admirable). See also {qu'} (literally, be fierce), another slang term used to express approval.

(KGT 164f.):  To describe someone as {SaS} is certainly insulting, as in {SaS DIvI' HoD} ("The Federation captain is shallow"--that is, literally, "The Federation captain is horizontal") ... A slang word with a meaning similar to {SaS} is {natlh} (literally, "consume, use up" [see page 155]). The opposite meaning--that is, profound, thorough and good--is often expressed by the slang verbs {chong} (literally, be vertical) and {qu'} (literally, be fierce).

(KGT 155):  Slang terms expressing the opposite of {natlh} -- that is, approval -- are {chong} (literally, be vertical) and {qu'} (literally, be fierce).

Brilliant! (Spice Williams; ST5 DVD, extra "making of" feature)

val 		be clever, intelligent (v)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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