[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: bIS'ub

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 23:55:35 PDT 2020

On Thu, 22 Oct 2020 at 04:28, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 10/21/2020 10:04 PM, De'vID wrote:
> On Wed, 21 Oct 2020 at 13:39, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Given that Pyramus and Thisbe are a pair who talk to each other through a
>> wall, I am strongly inclined to believe that {bIS'ub} is some kind of
>> transformation on "Thisbe". (The "isb" is basically there in both words.
>> One just has to explain why the initial "th" became a {b}.)
> In fact, looking at the word as it's written, I'm wondering if it isn't a
> transcription error, either by Dr. Okrand or somebody else. Lowercase "t"
> could almost be the same as "b" in handwriting, if one writes the crossbar
> too short on the left and the loop curves too high on the right. If it had
> been *{tIS'ub}, there would probably be no doubt that it's a pun on
> "Thisbe".
> (Does anyone have a printed copy of HolQeD 8:3 to check?)
> *bIS'ub* appears twice in the article. It it's a mistake, it's a repeated
> one.
Here are the sentences from HolQeD 8:3 in which it appears:
"The word for the interior bottom of something is {bIS'ub}. If an item is
located in the bottom of a box, it is located in the box's {bIS'ub}."

The two occurrences are back-to-back. If one misreads the word, it's easy
enough to copy it wrongly twice in close succession.

There is precedence for {t}-{b} confusion in canon: on KGT p.132, the idiom
*{tIb; tI'qa' vIghro' rur} "nervous as a tika cat" appears, whereas TKD has
{bIt} for "be nervous, uneasy". Dr. Okrand saw "tika" and mistyped *{tIb}
for {bIt} (ostensibly because of the initial "t"). It's not implausible
that he had "box... bottom" in mind, and mistyped {bIS'ub} for *{tIS'ub}.

But in any case, {bIS'ub} is the Klingon word now, however it originated.

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