Revenge is a dish best served cold

Kill Bill Intro, 2003
During Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan quoted an allegedly Klingon proverb Revenge is a dish best served cold.


The phrase is usually translated with Revenge is a dish, best served cold. Literally translated, the individual words mean:

Klingon English Details
bortaS revenge noun
bIr cold adjective
jablu'DI' when somebody serves (jab = serve, -lu' = indefinite subject), -DI' = when, as soon as -
reH always adverbial
QaQqu' it is very good (QaQ = good, -qu' intensifies the word) -
nay' the dish -

So, literally translated, it means: When someone serves cold revenge, the dish is always very good.


The phrase has been used on several T-Shirts and also during one episode of The Big Bang Theory:


The phrase was first mentioned as a "Klingon proverb" 1982 in ST2, but it was not said in Klingon there. Later, during the 2003 movie "Kill Bill", the phrase was displayed in English before the beginning of the movie, labeled as an "Old Klingon proverb". In reality, the phrase is much older. There exists a 1971 western movie with the italian title "La vendetta e' un piatto che si serve freddo", meaning exactly the same phrase. The phrase also appeared in the western movie "Death Rides a Horse" (1967), and in the novel "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo (1969).

Rumors say that the phrase has been used in the 1782 book "Les Liaisons dangereuses" (Dangerous Liaisons) but that is not true. The first known appearance of that expression was in 1845 in a book by Josephe Eugène Sue, "Mathilde", originally in French "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange très bien froide."
Category: Phrases    Latest edit: 12 Feb 2017, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 12 Feb 2017 by KlingonTeacher

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