[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: may' bom

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon May 23 07:09:18 PDT 2022

Klingon Word of the Day for Saturday, May 21, 2022

Klingon word: may' bom
Part of speech: noun
Definition: battle song

may' bom pIm bom 
sing a different battle song (idiom: "speak of another matter entirely") KGT

(KGT 118f.):  "This expression means speak of another matter entirely. It is used when someone changes the topic or offers clarification on an existing one or when some new information comes to light. When uttered, it is frequently preceded by {DaH} (now) or {toH} (Aha!). For example, if a Klingon warrior who has chosen to ignore a messenger bearing what he thinks will be an irrelevant communiqué finds out that the message is from the leader of the High Council himself, the warrior may say {DaH may' bom pIm Dabom} ("Now you sing a different battle song.") -- that is, "Well, that's another matter altogether." The idiomatic meaning comes across regardless of who is said to be "singing" ({may' bom pIm wIbom}, "We sing a different battle song'; {may' bom pIm lubom} "They sing a different battle song," etc.).
(KGT 77):  "Perhaps the most important type of song is the {may' bom}, literally "battle song, which commemorates famous battles and heroic exploits. It is never inappropriate to burst into song (there is a special verb for this: {wup}) and sing a {may' bom}. At any social gathering, in addition to eating and drinking, there is no question that there will also be singing.
(KGT 70-71):  Warriors have long celebrated great achievements and key events in song, reinforcing the importance of the accomplishments and actually reliving them while singing. Great deeds are "deeds worthy of song," as the Klingon leader Gowron once put it, and part of the appeal of engaging in battle is the prospect that, if the battle is a really good one, it will be fought over and over again in song.

(KGT 12f.):  Finally, there are some old but still popular songs that retain old words and old grammatical forms that are not interpretable in modern Klingon. In fact, it is not uncommon for Klingon children to think some of these songs are nonsense songs, filled with silly words, and then be surprised to find out that they are ancient hunting songs or battle songs.

(KGT 78):  A {may' bom} (battle song), {chon bom} (hunting song), or just about any other kind of song may serve as a {HIvje' bom}, but there are special songs heard almost exclusively as accompaniments to drinking.

  “My friends, songs will be sung about this day.” (Martok to Sisko and Adm. Ross before the Federation Alliance’s final assault on Dominion Forces on Cardassia Prime, DS9 “What We Leave Behind, Pt. I”)

"There's a drunk Klingon [Kor] in my holding cell who must be a hundred years old, singing battle songs. Even his best friend [Koloth], who's probably a hundred and fifty years old, won't have anything to do with him, so I get the pleasure of listening to his repertoire." (Odo to Kira, DS9 "Blood Oath").  Two lines of the song (according to the subtitles) were: 
      B'aski't Kor, B'askr'ip Kor, 
      Kohman-a-ti, B'aski't Kor   

may' ghe'naQ  		battle opera (n) 
  A type of Klingon opera (PB xix)

  "Klingon opera uses the principle of musical combat. Beauty in Klingon music comes from the impact of two opposing forces. To quote a well known Klingon proverb {qa' wIje'meH masuv} or "We fight to enrich the spirit." (Joris Favie, 7/2010; cf. http://www.u-theopera.org)

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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