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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu May 5 08:25:04 PDT 2022

The weird part is that the term isn’t {Davonlu’}. Apparently {vonlu’} has gotten so fossilized that the normal prefix is abandoned, treating {vonlu’} as a new verb instead of an existing verb with a suffix. It is not that “One has trapped you.”

It’s more like, “You been trapped!” The subject is not merely unspecified. It’s nonexistent. I’m half surprised the term isn’t {bIvon’egh}.

> On May 5, 2022, at 10:36 AM, Steven Boozer <sboozer at uchicago.edu> wrote:
> Klingon word:    vonlu'
> Part of speech:    verb
> Definition:    fail utterly (slang)
> _______________________________________________
> bIvonlu'pu'
> 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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