Klingon/English dictionary of Klingon words
This English dictionary of Klingon words lists tlhIngan Hol vocabulary and explains their meaning in English. Unlike a traditional dictionary, this dictionary separates words into a few sections, including nouns, pronouns, and curses; other words go into a General section.
Be mindful of the difference between the letters I ("capital eye") and l ("small ell"). Klingon is case-sensitive and does not use a lower-case i; as these letters appear similar in many sans-serif fonts, the use of a serif font may make reading a little easier.
Unlike English, Klingon does not capitalize names or the first words of sentences. Some letters of the Klingon alphabet are written in our alphabet as sequences of two or three letters (ch, gh, ng, tlh), and some English letters are only used as parts of these sequences; and ' (apostrophe) is a letter.
- I ("capital eye", as mentioned above), D, and S are always capital.
- Small q and capital Q are different letters.
- Small t (Klingon does not have capital T) is used in two ways:
- as a Klingon letter.
- as part of the Klingon letter tlh.
- c is used only in ch.
- g is used only in gh and ng.
- Capital H is a letter, but small h is used only in ch, gh, and tlh.
- Small n is used in two ways:
- as a Klingon letter
- as part of the sequence ng
- Therefore, ngh is always n + gh, never ng + the nonexistent small h.
In the Star Trek series, Klingons regard cursing in the Klingon language as a fine art; those with mastery of this facet of Klingon gain respect among Klingons. More importantly, the Klingon language supplies a lot of curses in comparison to English; for convenience, expletives are listed separate from other vocabulary. You will likely use these more often than other vocabulary when speaking with those not familiar with Klingon.
These are general invectives.
- baQa', excl.: General invective.
- ghay'cha', excl.: A general invective; "Damn it!"
- ghuy', excl.: General invective; "Damn."
- ghuy'cha', guy'cha, excl.: A general invective. Stronger than ghay'cha'.
- Hu'tegh, excl.: General invective, similar to "damn." You Hu'tegh bastard!
- jay', int.: Intensifier, turns the whole phrase into an invective. It comes at the very end of a sentence. Similar function to modifying "what is going on" into "what the hell is going on" in English. qaStaH nuq jay'
- QI'yaH, excl.: Curse, very strong expletive. One of the strongest in the Klingon language.
- Qu'vatlh, excl.: A construction of Qu' and vatlh; literally, "A hundred tasks." A strong expletive used to express frustration, such as with having too many tasks and not enough resources to complete them reasonably.
- va, excl.: A shortened form of Qu'vatlh. This functions as a less intense expression of frustration.
Epithets supply a method of insulting a person or thing; a speaker uses them as derogatory replacements for nouns and pronouns.
- petaQ, excl.: Epithet; similar to "bastard" or "asshole." Throw that petaQ out.
- Qovpatlh, excl.: Epithet; possibly indicates insignificance of target. Don't bother asking that Qovpatlh; he is an idiot.
- taHqeq, excl.: Epithet; insult to one's honor, possibly indicates a lack of trustworthiness in the target.
- toDSaH, excl.: Epithet; possibly indicating weakness, as if the target worries about someone coming to their rescue; wimp, wuss.
- yIntagh, excl.: Epithet; possibly a direct attack on the target's intelligence.
- pagh: Zero.
- wa': One.
- cha': Two.
- wej: Three.
- loS: Four.
- vagh: Five.
- jav: Six
- Soch: Seven.
- chorgh: Eight.
- Hut: Nine.
- maH: Appended to numbers to indicate tens. wa'maH (10), wejmaH (30), loSmaH cha' (42).
- vatlh: Appended to numbers to indicate hundreds. wa'vatlh (100), vaghvatlh vaghmaH vagh (555).
- SaD, SanID: Appended to numbers to indicate thousands. HutSaD (9000), loSSanID loS (4004).
- netlh: Appended to numbers to indicate ten thousands.
- bIp: Appended to numbers to indicate hundred thousands.
- 'uy': Appended to numbers to indicate millions.
Klingon employs two systems of pronouns; the section on Klingon grammar explains pronominal prefixes, while this one explains simple pronouns. Remember, Klingon grammar structure for transitive verbs is [target] [verb] [actor]; so "I see" is jIlegh jIH, and "you see me" is jIH cholegh soH.
- jIH, pn.: I, me.
- maH, pn.: We, us.
- SoH, pn.: You.
- tlhIH, pn.: You (plural).
- ghaH, pn.: He/she, him/her. Gender is given in context.
- chaH, pn.: They/them; plural of ghaH.
- 'oH, pn.: It.
- bIH, pn.: They/them; plural of 'oH.
- 'e', pn.: That, referring to the previous part of the sentence; the English sentence, "No one knows that I can read Klingon," uses the English conjunction 'that' to perform this function.
- net, pn.: That, referring to the previous part of the sentence. net is used when a third party is involved.
- Hol, n.: Language, as in tlhIngan Hol for Klingon language.
- maj, adj.: Good.
- nuqneH: Klingon's only greeting; literally, "What do you want?" Ask this only when approached, never when approaching.