Unintentionally created words

This page explains those unintentionally created words that we know today only based on a production mistake.

When Okrand started creating the words and grammar for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, he could begin at an empty page. During the production of the movie though, some mistakes happened, and he had to adapt some words and grammar, so it would fit the words spoken on screen. Since The Klingon Dictionary was not written at that point, it was no problem to change these things. But some of the mistakes happened later, and where hence either added to the addendum or explained in Klingon for The Galactic Traveler.


Star Trek III - The Search for Spock

During Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the phrase qama'pu' jonta' neH was intended to mean "I told you: only the engine" (qama' I tell you, jonta' engine, neH only). Due to the subtitles "I wanted prisoners", the entire meaning of the phrase changed and some words needed to be replaced or added. As an inside wordplay, the word ma' got the new meaning "accomodate", because Okrand had to "accommodate" the phrase.

Original meaning I-you tell [perfective] engine only
qa' ma' pu' jon ta' neH
New meaning prisoner [plural] capture [perfective] want

This probably lead to the rule that neH want does not take the aspect suffix.

In the opening scene, Valkris mispronounces joHwI' My lord as jawwI'.

Star Trek V - The Final Frontier

During Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, the phrase vaj toDDujDaj ngeHbej DIvI' ("So the Federation will send their rescue ship") was accidentally used twice, but with different subtitles. Different to what happened in ST3, the new phrase is made up of entirely new words:

Original meaning then rescue ship their send certainly federation
First phrase vaj toDDuj Daj ngeH bej DIvI'
Second phrase vaj toDuj Daj ngeHbej DI vI'
New meaning warrior courage not prove cosmos garbage shooting

Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country

The type 1 endearment suffix -oy appeared after Rosanna DeSoto's mispronunciation of vavwI', which came out as vavoy in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. (This suffix is first explained in the addendum)

Star Trek Into Darkness

The entire Klingon dialogue of Star Trek Into Darkness was mixed up during editing, so much that the originally recorded phrases did not make any more sense. The first phrases were made of existing vocabulary, but the movie released lots of new words which had to fit the mouth movements of the actors. For details see MOVED TO... Star Trek Into Darkness

Other words

There are some words that were created just by mistake.
  • The verb woj (sterilize) appeared after a mistake of someone skipping a line.
  • The word 'I' (armpit) appeared only because someone gave it as an example of an unknown word, but Okrand confirmed that it's a true one.

The verb qa' was first described in relationship to replacement proverbs. These are literally called qa'meH vIttlhegh, where qa'meH stands as a noun on its own, meaning "replacement". It is explained (1) that this expression originated from the longer phrase quvqa'meH "restore back to honor", based on the Type 2 suffix -qa'. For a very long time, nothing was added to this, until the word qa' appeared as a verb in the Klingon Monopoly. It may be assumed that Okrand forgot about the background story and remembered it as a verb.

See also


1 : HolQeD 5:1, p. 10

Category: Canon    Latest edit: 25 Jul 2017, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 15 May 2017 by KlingonTeacher

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