Body parts

This article provides information about body parts, their grammatical usage and a list of Klingon words.

Not body parts

Words like hormone, RNA, DNA, and blood are grammatically not considered a body part.(1)

Also, the word for "body" porgh it is not considered as a "body part", as it's the body itself, it cannot be a part of it. Some people disagree on this and it is not clearly answered in canon.



The plural version of body parts is a little different than with other nouns. Instead of -pu' (for people capable of language) or -mey (for other nouns), body parts get the suffix -Du'. (2) This suffix is used for all body parts, those of humans and of animals, also when used as food.

wej qamDu' - three feet

Suffix -mey

If -mey is used with body parts instead of -Du', it means those body parts are "scattered everywhere". This form is more used in a poetical way, as in the title of the KLI's poetic journal jatmey, literally scattered tongues.


When body parts are served as food, they also take the appropriate suffix, as in tIqnagh lemDu' tknag hooves. (3) Okrand has explained that when body parts lose their association with the creatures that originally had them and have turned into "raw materials", like when a skin becomes a pelt, they aren't body parts anymore. (4) This has lead to a misunderstanding for some Klingonists who claimed that this might also count for food, as it has lost the connection from the animal. In an interview of qepHom 2018, Marc Okrand corrected this mis-interpretation. To the question, whether one should not use the suffix -Du' for chicken wings as a dish, he quickly answered: Why not? They're still wings.

Metaphorical usage

This is not a canon term, but someone once coined this term for body part words that are not used for real body parts, but are used as a slang term, or for something absolutely different. As a basic understanding, as explained in KGT, these terms should take the appropriate suffix as explained above:
"Grammatically, even as slang, Ho' follows the rules appropriate to its literal meaning. Thus, even though it may refer to a person, its plural is Ho'Du' ("teeth"), making use of the plural suffix for body parts [...] Similarly, it never takes the possessive suffixes associated with beings capable of using language." (5)

Okrand also stated that the word 'enDeq (bladder) refers to anatomy, but it can be used metaphorically in other contexts, which is the way it works in English (qepHom 2018).

Nevertheless, some words do not follow this apparent rule. These are noq nipple and neb beak/nozzle which take a different plural suffix depending on their meaning. Seeing this, one can assume that this is not a 100-%-rule, and may depend on which noun and what circumstance the plurals are being used.

Klingon Translation Source
Ho'Du' teeth TKD
Ho'Du' idols (slang) KGT
Ho' cog/sprocket teeth qep'a' 25
jIb Ho'Du' comb TalkNow
noqDu' nipples (body part) qep'a' 23
noqmey nipples (on bottles) qep'a' 23
nebDu' beaks (body part) qep'a' 23
nebmey nozzles (on a hose) qep'a' 23

Star Trek

Klingons in Star Trek have multiple redundant body parts: Two livers, one heart with eight chambers, 23 ribs, two stomachs and a double pia mater (a layer of connective tissue, engulfing the nerves). This redundancy is called bIraqlul Brak'lul.


  flag   This topic has been added to the todo-list. Reason: add missing new body part words.

Click on one of the titles to sort by body area.
Klingon English Sorting Source
bem sole of foot leg, foot KGT
bo feather general HolQeD 10.4
burgh stomach inner TKD
chap back of hand hand TKD
chayqa' esophagus inner qep'a' 2020
cha'neH forearm arm 2011, see note
chej liver (see regional mavje') inner TKD, KGT
chI'ID uterus sexual qepHom 2018
chor belly general TKD, FederationTravelGuide
DaQ ponytail head TKD
DaynguH testicle sexual qepHom 2018
DeS arm arm KGT
DeSqIv elbow arm KGT
DIr skin general TKD
Do'ghI' calf leg Hamletmachine
Dub back general TKD
DughrI' skull head qepHom 2019
Du'ran philtrum head, face qep'a' 2018
gham limb (of animal) arm, leg KGT
ghapqa' jaw head qep'a' 2019
ghaw' gum (slang) head qep'a' 2020
ghIch nose head, face TKD, KGT
ghISDen scales (of animal) general KGT
ghIt open, flat hand hand KGT
ghIv limb (of person) arm, leg qep'a' 2010
ghop hand hand TKD, KGT
Hampong DIr scab general qep'a' 2020
HanDI' cell general qep'a' 2016
Hom bones general TKD
HomHap tun cartilage general qep'a' 2020
HomwI' second toe leg, foot HolQeD 10.2
HoS voveng thyroid inner qep'a' 2020
Ho' tooth head, face TKD
Hugh throat head TKD
Hutvav nerve inner qepHom 2016
Hutvav rarwI' neural synapse inner qepHom 2016
Huy' eyebrow head, face TKD
jat tongue head, face TKD
jIb hair of head head TKD
joQ rib general KGT
lem hoof (of animal) foot KGT
lev hard palate, roof of mouth head qep'a' 2005
loch mustache head, face TKD
logh'ob chest general qep'a' 2018
luH guts inner KGT
lur pupil (of eye) head TKD
marwI' big (first) toe leg, foot HolQeD 10.2
mavje' liver (regional) inner KGT
mej'aD artery inner, vein qepHom 2015
melchoQ bone marrow inner KGT
mIn eye head, face TKD
mInyoD eyelid head, face qep'a' 2018
mong neck general TKD
mov top of foot leg, foot KGT
muylIS eyelash head, face qep'a' 2017
nach head head TKD
namwech paw (of animal) foot KGT
nanwI' fourth toe leg, foot HolQeD 10.2
nev'ob thigh/upper arm leg Hamletmachine
nItlh finger hand TKD
nItlhpach fingernail hand Addendum
nobmeD skeleton general qepHom 2019
noq nipple general qep'a' 2016
nuj mouth head, face TKD
ngIb ankle leg, foot KGT
ngob'at breast general qep'a' 2019
pach claw foot HolQeD 10.4
paw'aD vein inner, vein qepHom 2015
pIp spine general TKD
pob hair (on body) general TKD
qab face head, face TKD
qam foot leg, foot TKD
qanwI' pinky finger hand HolQeD 10.2
qaywI' middle finger hand HolQeD 10.2
qevpob cheek head, face TKD, KGT
qewwI' ring finger hand HolQeD 10.2
qey'Hav vagina sexual qepHom 2018
qIv knee leg TKD
qIvon unknown body part general KGT, msn 1997.06.29
qogh ear conch head KGT, HolQeD 2.4, page 17
Qay'wI' little (fifth) toe leg, foot HolQeD 10.2
QoghIj brain head KGT
Quch forehead head TKD, KGT
rajma' kidney inner 2011, see note
rem'ay' diaphragm, thoracic diaphragm inner qepHom 2020
repnuj gum head qep'a' 2020
reStav shin / forearm leg Hamletmachine
rIlwI' thumb, usually a child's thumb hand HolQeD 10.2
ro torso general TKD, KGT
rol beard head, face TKD
roSwI' third toe leg, foot HolQeD 10.2
ro' fist hand TKD
Sa'Hut ass, rear end, buttocks general qep'a' 2003 (or maybe qep'a' 9 - needs confirmation)
SenwI' thumb, usually an adult's thumb hand HolQeD 10.2
SIqwI' index, first, pointer finger hand HolQeD 10.2
Somraw muscle general TKD
tagh lung inner TKD
tel wing general TKD
telya' pancreas inner qep'a' 2020
teS inner ear head KGT, HolQeD 2.4
tIq heart (also in a symbolic way) inner TKD, TKW
toch palm hand TKD
to'waQ ligament general KGT
turmIq 'enDeq urinary bladder inner qepHom 2018
tlhon nostril head, face TKD
tlhuQ tail general KGT
valQav iris (of the eye) head qep'a' 2020
va'nuch heel foot HolQeD 13.1
veD fur general KGT
volchaH shoulders general TKD
voveng gland general qep'a' 2020
wIlle' joint general qep'a' 2019
woS chin head, face TKD
wuS lips head, face TKD
yab mind head TKD
yaD toe leg TKD, HolQeD 10.2
yeb wrist hand KGT
'achler nape, scruff, back of neck general qep'a' 2019
'aD vein inner, vein TKD
'aDHom capillary inner, vein qep'a' 2020
'alnum freckle(s) general qep'a' 2020
'ejtlhal tumor inner qep'a' 2020
'enDeq bladder inner qepHom 2018
'eQway belly button general 2011, see note
'InSep penis sexual qepHom 2018
'IvtIH hip general 2011, see note
'Iw blood general TKD
'I' armpit general KGT, Mailing list 1996.08.21, HolQeD 5.3
'oSHeQ spleen inner qep'a' 2020
'uS leg leg TKD

note: The following words were written down by Agnieszka Solska at qep'a' 2011, but somehow came to public few months later at qepHom 2011. For that reason, some word lists show different sources: cha'neH, 'IvtIH, rajma', 'eQway.

Regional terms

Some words have regional expressions.
English Standard regional terms Origin
forehead Quch 'aQlo', boD, Huy'Dung, jargh, mIQ, no''och, tuqvol
nose ghIch ley'

See also


1 : qep'a' cha'maH SochmaH - New Word Q&A with Dr. Marc Okrand on YouTube

2 : The Klingon Dictionary

3 : Star Trek: Klingon

4 : message of March 23, 1998

5 : Klingon for the Galactic Traveler, p. 152

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