[tlhIngan Hol] lightning lightning bolt and {pe'bIl}

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon May 24 08:33:24 PDT 2021

Don’t forget the verb {raw} “lightning”:

   rawbogh Qun neH ghaH ZEUS’e’
   Zeus is the only god that “lightnings”.

or even as an epithet:

   ZEUS rawwI’
   Zeus, the “lightning-er”

True, these translations sound decidedly awkward in English but probably less so in Klingon.  BTW, we’ve seen a weather verb used metaphorically in Klingon:

  ghIq QavwI'chaj DuQchu' qeylIS betleH chaHDaq SIStaHvIS negh 'Iw
  Then Kahless's bat'leth pierced the last of them, showered with the
   soldiers' blood. (PB)

… and in English:

(st.klingon 11/1997):  Speakers who do this seem to be aware that they are breaking the rules, so they are doing it for rhetorical effect. (It has the same sort of feeling, perhaps, as if someone were to say in English … “It's lightninging and thundering outside…”)


From: mayqel qunen'oS

Thank you SuStel, voragh, and charghwI' for taking the time to reply.

> Or is lightning (the general phenomenon) an attribute
> of another god whom you need to distinguish from Zeus?

No, the only god in reference to whom I've seen the lightning bolt is Zeus.

In the beginning, I hadn't given much thought to this matter, and used {pe'bIl}, because I thought that in English lightning and lightning bolt were actually the same. Until I wondered why all English sources about Zeus say "lightning bolt" instead of just "lightning". It was then when I became confused. On the other hand though, I thought "but I've never heard someone say in English 'he was hit by a lightning bolt', so how much of a difference can there be"?
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