[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: vIl

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Thu Sep 16 07:19:04 PDT 2021

Klingon word: 	vIl
Part of speech: 	noun
Definition: 	someone or something one can always find around, speed bump-like
Source: 	Marc Okrand at qep'a' wa'maH javDIch

(ghunchu'wI', 7/26/2009):  The noun {vIl} is hard to define. Maltz had given a description of something which was immediately recognized as a speed bump by everyone present, but it was apparently intended not as an actual definition but as an example of something which is 'just there'. There is obviously an etymological relationship with {vIlle'}, which is currently the best clue we have to its true meaning. Consider someone who keeps showing up when you go places. This person doesn't necessarily have any particular importance to what you're doing, and it wouldn't matter to you at all if he or she weren't present, but the person is 'just there'. That would be a {vIl}. It also can describe someone who hangs around, ready to help out, whether or not you need anyone to help you. Again, it wouldn't make any difference to you if the person weren't there. Here is a direct quote from Marc Okrand: "A {vIlle'}, on the other hand, is definitely someone you want to have around--a follower, disciple, fan, admirer, minion." (Groupie and entourage were suggested by those present at the time, but Marc didn't think they fit.)

PUN:  {vIlle’} minion = “filet mignon”! (SuStel)

(ghunchu'wI', 7/27/2009):  {vIl} strikes me more as referring to someone or something you keep noticing, rather than something or someone you would intentionally look for. When I asked Marc Okrand whether "sidekick" would be an appropriate term, he said no, and gave this example: "It would apply to this woman I know who seems to show up (as an audience member or an usher or something) at every play I go to. I don't know why she's always there, but it's weird.

(ghunchu'wI', 7/29/09):  Marc suggested {boQ} or {cha'DIch} for the 'sidekick' idea I was asking about.

N.B. Do not confuse with:
vIl  		be ridgy (forehead) (v)
vIl  		be cool (as in chic) (slang) (v) (qep'a' 2018)
vIlHom  	ridge (forehead) (n)
vIlInHoD  	a bird capable of mimicking speech (n) (HQ 10.4:5)

qolqoS  		core (of a group),  essence (n)
bay'eS  		inferior, subordinate [i.e. person] (n) (qep’a’ 2019),
moch 		superior [i.e. person] (n)

QIv 		be inferior (i.e. in rank or status) (v)
nIv 		be superior (v)
ngotlh 		be fanatical (v)
SaH  		be present (not absent) (v)
Dach 		be absent (v)
jeS 		participate (v)
nargh 		appear (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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