[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: Heghbat

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Thu Mar 18 10:49:16 PDT 2021

Klingon Word of the Day for Thursday, March 18, 2021

Klingon word: Heghbat
Part of speech: noun
Definition: ritual suicide

(ST Encyclopedia [1994], p.124):  Literally translated as 'The Time to Die'—ritualized suicide. Klingon tradition held that when a Klingon was unable to stand and face his enemies, he should choose the *Hegh'bat*. The rite called for the eldest son of the celebrant, or a trusted friend, to deliver a ritual knife to the warrior, who would impale himself in the chest. The son or friend would then remove the knife and wipe it on his sleeve. Following a severe spinal injuring in 2368, Lieutenant Worf considered the *Hegh'bat*.  

Despite the considerable sophistication of Klingon technology, significant gaps exist in Klingon medical science, in part due to cultural biases that injured warriors should be left to die or to carry out the Hegh'bat. (TNG "Ethics")

(TKW 147):  After being paralyzed from the waist down as the result of an accident, Worf at first felt his life had ended and decided to commit ritual suicide (Heghbat).

(TKW 176):  Worf decided to commit suicide in the traditional Klingon manner, the {Heghbat}. He asked Riker to help him and hand him the knife, but Riker pointed out that, following tradition, that role belonged to Worf’s son, Alexander.

The knife used in TNG "Ethics" was the same wicked-looking pronged, serrated knife seen in TNG "Night Terrors".  Was this also a {qutluch}?

Heghtay  	death ritual (n) 
SonchIy  	*Sonchi* [death ceremony] (n)
'aQvoH 		*ak'voh* [ritual] (n)
ma'to'vor 	*Mauk-to'Vor* [ritual] (n)

HoH'egh  	commit suicide (v)

Voragh, Ca'Non Master of the Klingons
    Please contribute relevant vocabulary from the last year or two. I’ve fallen 
    behind in updating my files and adding cross-references for related words.  

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