[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: ngIb

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Tue Jan 8 07:25:13 PST 2019

Klingon Word of the Day for Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Klingon word: ngIb
Part of speech: noun
Definition: ankle (also slang term of deprecation)

(KGT 166f.):  The words referring to the joints at the ends of arms and legs have slightly negative connotations. Likening a person or situation to either is to say something unflattering. It is not uncommon, therefore, to hear references to them in insults on the order of {yeb Darur} (You resemble a wrist) or {ngIb ghaH verengan'e'} (The Ferengi is an ankle). To say {SuvwI' yoH law' ngIb yoH puS} (The warrior is braver than an ankle) is far from complimentary. One theory as to the reason for this negative association is that wrists and ankles, being joints, are flexible and pliant, while being rigid--maintaining one's principles and goals against all odds--is a virtue. A more likely scenario, however, is that the meanings of the words were influenced by the distinctive speech of the Krotmag region, which has been shown to be responsible for some other common idioms and slang as speakers of other dialects incorporate certain Krotmag pronunciations (see the chapter on The Fiction of Klingon Conformity, under "Pronunciation," pages 18-23). 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.

'uS 		leg
ghIv 		limb [of a person]
qIv 		knee
qam 		foot
yaD 		toe

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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