The word list of The Klingon Dictionary includes lots of words whose definition are not always very clear, basically because the english word may be used in several ways in English. This starts with the simple question of transitivity (does "drop" mean that the subject is dropping itself, or that the subject drops something - or both? (See questionable verbs), but many words are also ambiguous in their meaning: is a "column" a piece of a building, or the two dots in a written text?

Only clarification or canon examples can make the meaning clear.


Marc Okrand has confirmed several times that he has built up the word list of TKD intentionally with ambiguous definitions, because he wanted to make a parody on existing travel guides, whose definitions are not clear either and are only useful in the described situations.

How to handle

There is no written rule, but based on experience, it's usually the first appearing thing that comes to your mind, the most direct, most simple meaning of a verb that can be the meaning. Of course this is not always the case, and we cannot assume that everyone thinks of the same thing immediately.

Usually, when a word means something else that is more detailed, then the definition has additional information. For instance, if the verb roQ put down would mean something else besides "put down luggage", it would have a definition like "put down a rebellion". Nevertheless, we won't know for sure before getting canon clarification.

Other examples: jab - serve (food)
makes clear that you do not jab (serve) a master. The definition for the latter makes this very clear: toy' - serve (a master).

toch - palm (of hand)
shows we are not talking about a tree.

baH - fire (torpedo)
laQ - fire (thrusters)
even show two different meanings for the verb "fire".

Other words have multiple definitions seperated by a comma, to make them clear:

ra' - order, command
means that you cannot order your food with the verb ra'.

chIl - lose, misplace
makes clear that one does not chIl (lose) a war, it means forgetting where you put a thing.
Category: Vocabulary    Latest edit: 17 Jul 2017, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 17 Jul 2017 by KlingonTeacher
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