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

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Mon May 23 07:18:02 PDT 2022

Klingon Word of the Day for Sunday, May 22, 2022

Klingon word: 'otlh
Part of speech: noun
Definition: photon

betleHvo' qotar mInDu' mIghDaq boch 'otlh 
Light reflects off the bat'leth into Fek'lhr's evil eyes. (PB 1st ed.)
 [sic! for {veqlargh mInDu'}]

  "An individual particle of light. Also, a term for a missile weapon fired from space vessels." (KLS) A photon is the particle composing light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation.

  "Matter-antimatter reactions are not fusion. They annihilate each other, producing photons. (Proton-antiproton reactions produce photons and a few other things.)" (QeS, 3/01/2006)

  Anyone who has watched Discovery might have noticed that Lorca is sensitive to light. In another scene, Burnham said that the light is different where she is. These are two different things. Marc Okrand wrote: "For this, {'otlh} "photon" would work, but even though it's scientifically correct (I think), it would be confusing in a Star Trek context because of photon torpedoes and such (and because there can be photons besides those in the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum). You're right — Klingons would have a word (at least a scientific, technical term) for the phenomenon of light (aside from {'otlh}). {wovtaHghach} is one such word. Another is {tamghay} "light, luminescence, illumination" ('illumination' here does not mean "clarification, explanation, explication" or the like)." Okrand later added: "You're right. They are different (and, like you, I'd use {tamghay} for the examples you sent), but one's eyes could be sensitive to {wovtaHghach}. For 'the light is different', however, {wovtaHghach} isn't so good (unless they're talking about the intensity of the brightness or something like that as opposed to, say, the color)."  So when saying that Lorca is sensitive to "light", it's actually the {wovtaHghach} bothering him. Otherwise, he would have to live in absolute darkness, where there is no {tamghay}." (Lieven < M0, 1/26/2018)

 tuj 'otlh 	infrared (radiation) (n)
'otlh peng  	photon torpedo (n)
    'otlh peng baHjan  	photon torpedo launcher (n)
’otlh poH  	Planck time (n)
'otlhQeD  	quantum mechanics/theory/physics  (n)
'otlhtej  	quantum physicist (n)

Hap 		matter (n)
rugh 		antimatter (n)
valtIn  		proton (n)
Sang  		obliterate (v) [use for  annihilate?]

qulHom 	spark (n)
woj 		radiation (n)
tIH 		ray, energy beam (n)

Huj 		charge up (v)

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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