[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: HoD

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon May 16 07:25:02 PDT 2022

Klingon Word of the Day for Sunday, May 15, 2022

Klingon word: 	HoD
Part of speech: 	noun
Definition: 	captain

(KGT 52):  When used with an individual's name, a title follows the name: {tlha'a HoD} (Captain Klaa), {cheng Sa'} (General Chang), {qeng la'} (Commander Kang), and so on.

(KGT 52f):  There is, in addition, a frequently misunderstood word, {ra'wI'}, which is correctly, though misleadingly, translated as commander, as is {la'}. The confusion comes about because {ra'wI'} literally means "one who commands", from the verb {ra'} (command, order) plus the suffix {-wI'} (one who does [something]). Thus, a {ra'wI'} is, literally, "someone who gives an order". The word is generally used to refer to any officer of the rank of {Sogh} or higher. It may be used as either a description ({ra'wI' ghaH qImlaq'e'} ["K'mlak is a commander"] or a title ({qImlaq ra'wI'} ["Commander K'mlak"]), though in all cases it is understood as not reflecting the precise rank of the individual. Except for formal occasions, it is safe to use the title {ra'wI'}. In fact, if one is not sure of an officer's rank, it is probably the safest route to take.

[This practice is similar to the U.S. Navy use of C.O. - short for "commanding officer" - widely used to refer to the captain of a boat or ship regardless of formal rank, as is in fact the word "captain" or even (very familiarly) "skipper".  X.O. is another such abbreviation, short for "Executive Officer", i.e. the first officer or the captain's "Number One".]

(KGT 183-84):  A ritual of a less majestic sort occurs on a Klingon vessel when a new set of officers takes over and a mission is about to begin. With the bridge crew assembled but the captain not yet present, the first officer states his or her name and then says {DaH yaS wa'DIch vIgheS} ("I now take my place as first officer" or, literally, "Now I assume the responsibilities of first officer"). The first officer then requests the ship's {may' ta} (record of battle), which is presented by a crew member. The first officer reviews it. Soon the captain enters. The first officer says, {beq may' ta vIlajpu'} ("I have accepted the crew's record of battle"), pledges the crew's lives to the captain, and concludes by saying, {juDev 'ej Dujvam ra'wI' DagheS'e' vItlhob} ("I ask you to lead us as commander of this ship" or, literally, "I request that you lead us and that you assume the duties of commander of this ship"). The captain replies, {ghopDu'wIjDaq yInmeyraj vIlaj} ("I accept your lives into my hands") and then reverts to the ancient language form {no' Hol} and says, {Delaq Do'}, meaning something like "Take your stations", a phrase never heard in any other context.

HoD quS  	captain's chair (n)
ra'wI'		commander (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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