[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: ra'wI'

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Fri Jun 21 08:30:51 PDT 2019

Klingon word: ra'wI'
Part of speech: noun
Definition: commander

  ra'wI' ghaH qImlaq'e'
  K'mlak is a commander. KGT

  mIv je DaS tuQ ra'wI' 
  The commander is in full dress uniform.  [idiom]
  (lit. "The commander wears helmet and boot.") KGT

  mIv DaS je tuQ ra'wI' 
  The commander is wearing a helmet and a boot. KGT

juDev 'ej Dujvam ra'wI' DagheS 'e' vItlhob 
I ask you to lead us as commander of this ship.
I request that you lead us and that you assume the duties of commander of this ship. KGT
(KGT 52-53):  There is, in addition, a frequently misunderstood word, {ra'wI'}, which is correctly, though misleadingly, translated as "commander", as is {la'}.  The confusion comes about because {ra'wI'} literally means "one who commands", from the verb {ra'} (command, order) plus the suffix {-wI'} (one who does [something]).  Thus, a {ra'wI'} is, literally, someone who gives an order.  The word is generally used to refer to any officer of the rank of {Sogh} [lieutenant] or higher.  It may be used as either a description ({ra'wI' ghaH qImlaq'e'} ["K'mlak is a commander"] or a title ({qImlaq ra'wI'} ["Commander K'mlak"]), though in all cases it is understood as not reflecting the precise rank of the individual.  Except for formal occasions, it is safe to use the title {ra'wI'}.  In fact, if one is not sure of an officer's rank, it is probably the safest route to take.

[This parallels the anglophone practice of referring to the commanding officer ("the C.O.") of any ship as "captain" regardless of formal rank.]

(KGT 95-96):  If some kind of {HIq} (liquor) is added to the coffee, the drink is called {ra'taj}.  It is said that the drink was originally nicknamed {ra'wI' taj} ("commander's knife", suggestive of its potency), and that the name was shortened over time.

ra'wI' lupwI'  		taxi (n) (TNK)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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