[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: Sotlaw'

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Apr 14 06:43:10 PDT 2021

I’m surprised I didn’t as well.  We even have an unofficial example from Hamlet:

   'ej, pIvmo', wovqu'taHvIS wuqbogh qab,
    'oH ropmoH rIntaH Sotbogh qech ghom Hurgh.
   "And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought."
      [TKH, Hamlet’s soliloquy (Act III Scene 1?)]

GORKON: You have never experienced Shakespeare until you have read
                   him in the original Klingon.  [ST6: The Undiscovered Country]
Voragh, Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> On Behalf Of De'vID
On Tue, 13 Apr 2021 at 17:52, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu<mailto:sboozer at uchicago.edu>> wrote:
Klingon word:         Sotlaw'
Part of speech:        noun
Definition:               distress call

PUN:           "shout loud"?

ghum            [sound an] alarm (v)
QaH             help,  aid (v)
rIS               make a cracking/snapping sound; signal, emit a signal (v)

Se'               frequency (n)
   rI'Se'               hailing frequency (n)
   'evnagh Se'     subspace radio (n)
ghum           alarm (n)
rISwI'          transponder (sonar) (n)
HablI'          data transceiving device (n)
QumwI'       communicator (n)
chaDvay'      radio frequency (n)
   wab HevwI'    radio (n) (TNK)
   wab labwI'      radio service, broadcaster, radio transmitter (n)
I'm surprised you didn't mention the verb {Sot}: "be distressed, be in distress".

Folk etymology: I imagine that when Klingons started signalling for help, whomever saw the signals said {Sotlaw'} "he/she is/they are apparently in distress", and over time, this expression became frozen as a noun referring to the signal itself.
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