[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "the nerve of this guy"

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Tue Jul 13 23:15:53 PDT 2021

On Tue, 13 Jul 2021 at 22:31, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:

> I thought of {qajunpaQ} “courage,  audacity “ too, but this seems to be a
> form or recklessness in battle, perhaps of the sort that usually gets one
> killed.  "You speak of courage. Obviously you do not know the difference
> between courage and foolhardiness." (Kor, TOS "Errand of Mercy")
> And AFAIK we have one example:
>  SomrawDu'Daj teb qajunpaQ
>   His muscles filled with rage (PB)
> What mayqel is looking for is the Klingon equivalent of **chutzpah**.

I also thought of {qajunpaQ} and think it's exactly the word mayqel is
looking for. We have the example of the original usage on screen, from the
DS9 episode "Blood Oath". (The word was clearly invented by someone other
than Dr. Okrand, then backfitted into Klingon by him in KGT.)

Here's the entire dialogue:

KOR: Why do you dismiss her like some useless t'ooho'mIrah?
KANG: We cannot go into an enemy stronghold with your sickly chest
announcing us.
KOR: There is nothing (cough) nothing wrong with my chest.
KOLOTH: Nothing that won't get us all killed before we reach battle. Come.
KOR: I need no nurse's hand.
(Kor and Koloth leave. Dax joins Kang at a table.)
DAX: You can't deny my right for vengeance.
KANG: You try to speak as a Klingon but the words do not fit in your mouth.
DAX: You said that to me before, Kang. Do you remember?
KANG: I do not care to discuss it any further.
DAX: The Korvat colony. First day of negotiations. I walked out on you
right in the middle of that long-winded speech of yours. You should have
seen the look on your face. *Nobody ever had the kajunpak't to show their
back to the great Kang before Curzon did.*
KANG: I almost killed Curzon that day.
DAX: I knew I had to get you very, very angry or my mission wouldn't
succeed. Getting you angry at me was the only way to begin to create a bond
between us.
KANG: Curzon understood Klingons.
DAX: And he understood what he was doing when he took a Klingon blood oath.
You can't expect me to stay here and not avenge my own godson's murder. You
can't ask me to live with that kind of dishonour.
KANG: I cannot dishonour myself by permitting you to die in Curzon's place.
DAX: Who's talking about dying? I have no intention of dying. You dishonour
yourself already, Kang, by placing your own honour above mine. No Klingon
warrior would leave a comrade behind while he goes off to battle. Perhaps
you're right. Klingon honour isn't what it used to be.
KANG: Are you trying to anger me again? Do you think the same trick would
work twice?!
DAX: I understand Klingons.
KANG: All right, then! It worked! Come fight with us. Come and be damned.

"Nobody ever had the kajunpak't (sic) to show their back to the great Kang
before Curzon did" sounds exactly like the Klingon equivalent of chutzpah
to me. "Can you imagine the nerve of that Curzon? Walking out on the great
Kang, in the middle of an important speech, like that?"

This dialogue also gave us {tu'HomI'raH} (redundantly as "useless
t'ooho'mirah") as well as the proverb {may'Daq jaHDI' SuvwI' juppu'Daj
lonbe'} "When a warrior goes to a battle, he does not abandon his friends."

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