[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: vonlu'

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Thu May 5 07:35:54 PDT 2022

Klingon word: 	vonlu'
Part of speech: 	verb
Definition: 	fail utterly (slang)

You have failed completely. 
(literally "You have been trapped") KGT

(KGT 165-66):  This verb literally means "be trapped, entrapped". The verb {von}, usually translated as "trap, entrap", means "put (someone) in a position from which there is no escape." For a Klingon, to be in such a position, to be unable to fight back, is most dishonorable, especially since he or she is likely to be viewed in a helpless state. Thus, it is a sign of utter failure. The slang expression is used in such constructions as {bIvonlu'pu'} ("You have failed completely"; literally, "You have been trapped"). In standard Klingon, the same idea may be expressed by saying {lujbej} (certainly fail), {lujchu'} (fail perfectly), or {lujqu'} (really fail), all based on {luj} (fail). Note that {luj} is also used to mean lose (as in "lose at a game"). To say "I lose" is {jIluj}; to say "I lose in a big way" is {jIlujqu'} or {jIlujchu'}. The slang term {vonlu'} is not used in reference to games. It means "perform most inadequately, ineffectually, unsuccessfully" and is applied to one's performance as a warrior, tactician, political usurper, and the like.

ta’ vonlu’ 
The king is trapped. (i.e.  Check mate!)  [NON-CANON?]
(CSI Ella Lopez, upon successfully reassembling a shattered Champaign flute to recover fingerprints. When queried she said, “On Star Trek they play three-dimensional chess.” (Lucifer "Homewrecker" [FOX], 11/21/2016)  [Was this line provided or vetted by Okrand?]

  “They have us caged up like animals! … A Klingon would rather die than be held captive.” (Worf, DS9 “Till Death Do Us Part”)

ghach 		lurk, lie in wait, lie low (v)
ghoch 		track [down] (v)
ngel 		attract, lure (v)
Sam 		locate, seek and find (v)
nej 		look for, seek, search for (v)
tu' 		find (v)
wam 		hunt (v)
weH 		raid (v)
Sev 		contain (an enemy) (v)
jon 		capture (v)
wegh 		confine (v)

mo' 		cage (n)
bIghHa' 	jail (n)
qama’ 		prisoner (n)

Voragh, Ca'Non Master of the Klingons
    Please contribute relevant vocabulary or notes from the last 
    year or two. I’ve fallen woefully behind in updating my files.

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