[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "tablecloth"

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon Jun 24 12:17:52 PDT 2019

Of your two options, {raS tlhIm}”table carpet/blanket” works best.  Okrand tells us specifically that {velwI’}refers only to the person who lays the carpet:

(Lieven Litaer < MO, 1/09/2012):  A carpet or a rug is {tlhIm}. When you lay a carpet, you don't use the verb {mutlh} [assemble]; the appropriate verb is {vel} (cover, coat, mask). … To say "lay a carpet," one says "use a carpet to cover the floor," or {rav velmeH tlhIm lo'}.  The person who lays the carpet is a {velwI'} (literally coverer, coater, masker). You might think that the {velwI'} is the carpet itself. That would make sense, but it doesn't work that way. Maltz commented that Klingon rugs are primarily decorative. The idea of a fabric floor covering being thick or soft was just bizarre to him. … {tlhIm} is commonly used for a fabric wall hanging (that might, for example, have a picture of the Klingon emblem on it). If a piece of cloth is displayed at the end of a pole, it is considered a {joqwI'} ("flag"); a {tlhIm} covers some sort of surface. Finally, {tlhIm} can also mean "blanket." Maltz said that Klingons generally don't use blankets (he certainly doesn't), but he's seen them and, if you have to call them something, {tlhIm} is it.

(Note however that the captain's quarters of the 22nd century Bird-of-Prey captured by human Augments contained both a padded bed and a fur blanket [ENT “Cold Station 12” and "The Augments"]. )


From: mayqel qunen'oS
Tell me something.  Which of the following would you prefer for "tablecloth" ?

{raS tlhIm}, {raS velwI'}, or something else ?

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