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

mayqel qunen'oS mihkoun at gmail.com
Wed Jul 14 05:16:40 PDT 2021

voragh and De'vID, thank you for taking the time to reply; reading
your comments, I understood things I completely ignored before.

> What mayqel is looking for is the Klingon equivalent of *chutzpah*.
> Of the available options the expression {butlh ghajbogh nuv'e' yIHo'}
> “Admire the person with dirt under his fingernails” seems to me the closest:
> (TKW 142):  The Klingon word {butlh} (“dirt under fingernails”) can be taken
> literally, but in this expression it means something like “effrontery, impudence, brazenness."

Since I didn't know the exact meaning of the english words
“effrontery, impudence, brazenness", I looked them up, and I was happy
to realize that seemingly/apparently they *do* express the meaning of
the word "nerve" I'm looking for.

> 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.)
> 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.*

Reading this use of {qajunpaQ} I think that perhaps it could be used
too, for expressing the desired meaning of "nerve".

..So, while I started from a situation where I had no Ca'Non klingon
word for "nerve", now I seemingly/apparently have two to play with!
But there's a slight problem:

While the greek/english meaning of "nerve" is a negative one (i.e
"nerve" isn't a desired thing for someone to exhibit in his actions),
it seems that in the klingon way of thinking it *is* something
actually admired. So, I come across a situation described by the
irritating (for me) argument of "what a klingon would actually

Do I use the {butlh}/{qajunpaQ} in order to express the action of a
human acting for humans, in a text which is addressed to humans who
don't give a crap for the cultural intricacies of klingons? Or do I
jump on the "what a klingon would/wouldn't do" bandwagon?

Because in the first case, I *can* use the {butlh}/{qajunpaQ} and
humans will understand that it's something undesirable in the behavior
of the subject.. But on the second case, someone using in-game
thinking could say "And why do you say it like it's a bad thing?
{butlh}/{qajunpaQ} is a desirable trait to have".

I don't know.. I feel like a dog who has his food placed just an inch
away from his rope limit.. I have what I want, and I can't decide
whether I can use it or not.

~ Dana'an

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