[tlhIngan Hol] Klingon Word of the Day: peghmey vIttlhegh

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Fri Sep 30 07:18:37 PDT 2022

Klingon word: 	peghmey vIttlhegh
Part of speech: 	noun
Definition: 	secrecy proverb
Source: 	HQ:v5n1p10

 (Okrand, Power Klingon):  Another set of proverbs also proves very useful in many kinds of situations. They are known collectively as the secrecy proverbs, probably because they are most frequently used in situations where you want to show that you can keep a secret under any conditions. We will go over the most common secrecy proverbs. 
    Suppose you want to buy some ion-ray triggers from a Klingon arms dealer on one of the outer planets. The sale is perfectly legal, but skirmishes between Ferengi and Klingons have broken out in a nearby sector and the dealer suspects that if the location of his supply on this frontier is given away, a Ferengi raiding party may take his entire stash. Before he takes you to his supply, he must be reassured. You sense his heightened suspicions. The deal, and maybe your life, depends on assuring him that you can keep a secret. You have already clearly indicated through your choice of phrases that you know and respect the ideals of behavior but accuracy, straightforwardness, aggressiveness, and strength only indicate that you are a worthy opponent. What he now really wants to know is if you are a worthy confidante. You need to show your capacity for secrecy. What can you do? 
    Sensing your trust has been challenged you can flip out one of these secrecy proverbs as confidently as one might flip on a cloaking device on the way to battle.

(HQ 5.1):  Infrequently the singular {pegh} "secret" (rather than the plural {peghmey}) is heard, shortening the construction to {pegh vIttlhegh}. Since {pegh} is also a verb (meaning keep something secret), {pegh vIttlhegh} can also be interpreted as a sentence meaning something like "a proverb keeps things secret," that is, it withholds information rather than being a ready source of answers. To some Klingons, this is a most insightful coincidence.

(http://klingonska.org/canon/1997-11-30-news.txt ):  Perhaps the distinction between {qogh tuQmoHHa'} and the secrecy proverbs is that the former is only used in casual, slang-appropriate situations, whereas the latter are a bit more formal. Another possible distinction is that the secrecy proverbs are used in one static form without any variations, whereas {qogh tuQmoHHa'} is an idiom that can be slotted into a sentence as necessary. For instance, I don't think you can say a secrecy proverb on someone else's behalf, but {qogh tuQmoHHa'pu' ghaH} "you can trust him with your secret" seems legitimate enough. Or {qogh DatuQmoHHa''a'?} "can you keep a secret?" 

pegh  		secret (n)
pegh  		keep something secret; be secret, classified (v)
peghHa'moH  	cause to not keep a secret (v)

poymar 	mystery (n)

buv 		classify (v)
'ot 		withhold (information) (v)
Hey’ 		censor (v)

pIH 		be suspicious (v)
nub 		be suspect (v)
voqHa' 		distrust (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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