Cursing is considered a "fine art" among Klingons. (1) During some kind of battle game called curse warfare, the rule is to find hte best curse. In The Klingon Dictionary, cureses are devided into two sorts: words you can tell somebody (epithets), and general curses somebody says when they are angry (invectives).


Epithets are name calling, that a word you can use to insult somebody, like "idiot" or "dumbass".

petaQ - see details below
Qovpatlh - -
taHqeq - a classic insult
toDSaH - used for someone not on the best of terms
yIntagh - this also means "life support system", but there is no known relation


One of the most heard curses on the TV-shows is the word petaQ. In scripts and novels it is transcribed in several ways: pahtak, p'tak, patahk, and pahtk.

There is an explanation in paq'batlh (2), although it is doubted this is confirmed by Okrand:
P'takh (petaQ) is a Klingon insult, meaning something like "weirdo," deriving from the verb "to be weird" (taQ), with and [sic] you (plural) imperative prefix (pe-). Alternative romanizations include pahtak, p'tak, patahk, and pahtk.


Invections are exclamations said in anger, like "damn".

baQa' - -
ghay'cha' - -
ghuy' - General invective, somewhat like "Damn!"
ghuy'cha' - This might be said after receiving an unsettling communiqué.
Hu'tegh - -
QI'yaH - quite vulgar, this is one of the strongest, most foul curses
Qu'vatlh - said in moments of extreme anger (3)
va - shortened form of Qu'vatlh (4) It is used to show "only slight anger or distemperment" (5).

There are no canon examples for this curse, but some good examples in the Klingonist community:

va, tujqu'!
Phew! What a scorcher! (Katz)

va, yorIq Do'Ha'!
Alas, poor Yorick! (Glen Proechel's Translation of Hamlet, see Homlet)

va, Do'Ha' yorIq!
Alas, poor Yorick! (The Klingon Hamlet)

toH va!
Alas! (Rhona Fenwick, chIjwI' tIQ bom Rime of the Ancient Mariner)

Invective pronoun

The word jay' can be added at the end of a phrase in order to turn it into an invective.

qaStaH nuq? What is happening?
qaStaH nuq jay'? What the hell is going on? Heard in ST6

See also


1 : Power Klingon

2 : paq'batlh , pp. 70–71

3 : Conversational Klingon

4 : The Klingon Dictionary, p. 178

5 : HolQeD v3n1, Mark Shoulson

Category: Vocabulary    Latest edit: 16 Feb 2017, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 11 Sep 2014 by KlingonTeacher
History: r5 < r4 < r3 < r2 - View wiki text
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