[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: boQ

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon Sep 30 08:54:58 PDT 2019

Klingon Word of the Day for Monday, September 30, 2019

Klingon word: boQ
Part of speech: verb
Definition: assist

Help me! CK  [to a waitress] 
(MO > De'vID, 10/2017):  Regarding {QaH} and {boQ} – There’s a good deal of overlap, and either one can be used in many (maybe most) situations. The main difference is really one of connotation. In general, {QaH} would be used in situations where the person needing help can’t do whatever needs to be done without assistance of some kind, while {boQ} would be used in situations where the person might be able to do the task alone, but it’s easier or better or more efficient if someone helps out. 
    The object of {boQ} (the recipient of the aid) retains responsibility for the activity being aided. The person {boQ}-ing is secondary (though not necessarily unimportant!). The object of {QaH} can’t do whatever it is alone, so responsibility falls to the person {QaH}-ing (or responsibility is shared). 
    Someone who falls into a river and is unable to swim would not shout out {HIboQ!}.  Someone who can’t reach the top shelf would probably ask another person for {boQ} to get something down from the shelf (even though the task could be done alone if the person used a stepladder or stool or something). If the person tried it alone and boxes toppled down from the top shelf onto the person, immobilizing him/her, you’d probably hear the buried person ask for {QaH}. 
    It would be odd to use {QaHwI’} to refer to an administrative aide; that’s a {boQ}. 
    A parent probably wouldn’t {QaH} a child with a homework assignment. 
    There is nothing weak about asking for {QaH} (when help is warranted), but an offer to {QaH} in a situation where you’d expect to hear an offer to {boQ} may sometimes be mildly insulting, implying that the offerer questions the offeree’s ability to do something. 
    Having said all of that… The distinction is not always clear nor does it always matter, which is why the words are mostly interchangeable. 
    Assist would probably be translated as {boQ} most of the time. Other than in a few contexts, both help and aid could be translated as either {boQ} or {QaH}. 
    (David’s {boQwI’} app is aptly named.)

boQ  		aid,  assistance (n) 

     boQ lupoQbe' 
     tlhIngan chaH 
  To remind them that they 
     Don’t need anyone but themselves, 
     For they are Klingon!  (PB)

boQ  		aide (n),  associate (MO business card) 

(st.k 10/1998:  In re "nurse"):  Voragh's suggestions ({Qel boQ} "doctor's aide," {HaqwI' boQ} "surgeon's aide") are fine and both could be used.

(ghunchu'wI', 7/29/2009):  Marc suggested {boQ} or {cha'DIch} for the "sidekick" idea I was asking about.

(Qov, 9/22/2015):  Marc Okrand is billed as Associate Producer for a film project called "conlanging".  His bilingual business card bills him in pIqaD as:  {chenmoHwI’ boQ, marq ‘oqranD}. 

boQDu' 	aide-de-camp (n)

boQwI’  	De’vID’s Klingon dictionary/parser computer program/app

qeS 		advise (v)
QaH 		help, aid (v)
vuy 		be helpful, supportive (v)
QaH 		help (n)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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