non-canon words created by KLI members

Over the years, members of the KLI have been creating non-canon Klingon words, which became so common that most members knew what they mean. It is recommended to everyone (beginners and advanced speakers) to NOT use them, because these are not canon and may not be understood by many people.

The mentioning on this page is only for encyclopedic usage and to make clear that these are non-canon words.

List of non-canon words


Captain Krankor explained this word in HolQeD, December 2003:
To appreciate the word it is necessary to understand the story of its origin. Back in 1993, for about a month or so, there appeared on the list a rather odd gentleman. Clearly intelligent, he nonetheless seemed not at all interested in speaking Klingon, and more interested in doing such curious things as posting in German written with the (romanized) Klingon alphabet. In a short period of time he managed to alienate a number of people on the list, and ended up becoming the first person forcibly removed from the list due to abusive behavior.

This person's name was Randy Kloko. It was William Martin who, after Kloko's involuntary departure, first suggested tlhoqo' -- the Klingonization of Kloko's name -- as a slang word for "misanthrope;" the word quickly came to have a somewhat stronger meaning, more along the lines of "asshole." It is interesting to note that at the time, I, as Grammarian of the list, felt it necessary to give explicit waiver for this word, proclaiming it as slang for the list, and thus not in violation of the prohibition against making up new words. This is the only time that people actually worried about the ability to use slang. (1)

Here is part of William Martin's message: (2)
I couldn't find the word "misanthrope" in TKD. Might we adopt "tlhoqo'" in honor of the man who worked so hard to prove his abilities in misanthropy?

HIlel - sandwich

This joke word was coined by Rich Yampell. It is a reference to a ritual observed and food eaten during the Passover Seder, a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

yID - to be jewish

According to Mark Shoulson, in February 1993 there was a party in Seattle for people who knew each other via various computer networks. Krankor sat at one end of the table with Mark and Letty Smith (DrujIv, builder of the city on the KLI MUSH) and spoke only in Klingon. Although not religious, Krankor is Jewish by birth, so Mark's wife had crocheted a yarmulke (a jewish cap) for him. It was black with Klingon trefoils and the name Qanqor in red pIqaD. Inside, the inscription read Qapla'. Krankor looked at it, asked what it said, smiled as only he can smile... put it on his head and said DaH jIyID!

Note: "yid" is the Yiddish word for "Jew," also appropriated into English slang, though as a pejorative term. Krankor here was punning, treating yID as a Klingon verb for "to be Jewish."

poQ 'ar - Poker

Literally poQ 'ar means how many want it and is used to describe a well known terran game. In 2014, we learned the word for the game, which Maltz called 'urghwI', literally "one who pokes" or "poker".

pabpo' - grammarian

There is a word used on the mailing list, which is not canon, but nearly everyone uses and understands: pabpo', meaning "grammarian".

It's origin is not 100% sure, but there is one note by Holtej of July 26, 2005:

Krankor confided to me at the Las Vegas qep'a' (1999) that he (Krankor) made it up, in the early days of the old mailing list (run by Elias Israel). He said that, back in those days, there wasn't as much awareness or concern about not making stuff up, and that this is one usage/convention that has persisted through to this day.

Captain Krankor explained its incorrect use(3)
po' is definitely in TKD. pabpo' is a constructed compound. In retrospect, it is not the grammatically best compound, as it relies on the somewhat tenuous assumption that po' could also be used as a noun. One could argue that pabpo'wI' would be better, but we've been using pabpo' for so long on this list that as far as I'm concerned, it has passed into common usage. If nothing else, it is an interesting historic marker of how much my own tlhIngan Hol skills have improved since Eli and I started this list; it is doubtful I would let that slip by today.

chItlhwI' - Klingonist from Chicago

This term was coined in May 2017 by participants of the qepHom in Chicago, because they were using the abbreviation chi(cago) + tlh(Ingan) for their meeting. (4) In the facebook-discussion, Robyn Stewart suggested a definition for the verb chItlh = "to speak Klingon enthusiastically in Chicago, or while identifying as a Chicagoan."

At qep'a' 2020 the word chItlh was revealed meaning be symmetrical.

Har'eyngan - LGBTQIA+ person

John Harness and Jack Bradley coined this word while speaking Klingon at a gay bar, "Shaker's On Clark," in Chicago in 2018. Referencing the rainbow-colored Pride Flag, the word combines Har'ey, "rainbow," with ngan, "inhabitant" in the style of species names like romuluSngan. Claiming that Klingonists have needed to be able to talk about real world LGBTQIA+ individuals, Harness quasi-officially debuted the word at qep'a' cha'maH javDIch, meeting general approval from other LGBTQIA+ Klingonists. Har'ey tach, Har'ey be', Har'ey loD, etc ("rainbow bar," "rainbow woman," "rainbow man") demonstrate how Har'ey by itself can connote LGBTQIA+ meanings. Other non-canonical words suggested for other LGBTQIA+ topics include choH'eghwI' "self-changer" and ghe''eghmoHwI' "self-transformer" for trans individuals, but these have not found wide usage, and the exact connotations (and best grammatical forms) of these words remain in public conversation.

lumnaH - underwear

Brent Kessler aka bI'reng mentioned on the mailing list on April 24, 2019:
At qep'a' vaghDIch [1998] I was talking with Seqram. KGT had just come out, and we were discussing all the puns that Okrand put into the new vocabulary. Seqram joked that when we finally learned the word for underwear, it'd turn out to be lumnaH. ("Fruit of the Loom" is a common brand of underwear in the US.)

For twenty-five years, I've been hoping Okrand would prove him right.

At qep'a' 26, the word rejghun was revealed for "undergarments, underwear".

mIv'a' javtIm - coronavirus, Covid-19

This term was widely used about klingonists all throughout 2020.

The wordlist from qepHom 2020 gave two official terms, qoro'na javtIm and qo'vID wa'maH Hut.

tob - cool, rad, gnarly, radical

John Harness and Jack Bradley jokingly used this word at qep'a' 26, so much so that it practically became the rallying cry of the whole event (much to the chagrin of many, but to the laughter and enthusiasm of others). It is typically said while making the surfs-up hand (done with index finger, middle finger, and ring finger down with the thumb and pinky sticking out while slightly shaking one's wrist). In addition to this slang usage, tob is a canonical word meaning "to prove". But when John Harness heard Jack Bradley use it in the lobby of the qep'a' hotel, he decided it sounded way cooler. John Harness resists translating tob, instead implying that its meaning is clear to those "in the know."

pugh pap

pugh pap is a joke phrase meaning "nobody's perfect." A more accurate translation might actually be "pobody's nerfect," since the phrase makes use of words with intentionally mixed up final consonants (pup pagh.) Coined by Jack Bradley (DeSDu'), the phrase was popularized among some Klingonists in 2019 and 2020 and can be witnessed in use in this Twitter exchange:


Unofficial type 8 verb suffix known to be used chiefly between HoD Qanqor and 'ISqu' and dates back to the early 2000's. This suffix is used as a term of endearment for a romantic partner and seems to be based on the English kiss. In a message to the KLI mailing list regarding the Klingon episode of the Simpsons, Krankor wrote: 'ISqu', bImon 'e' vIleghmeH neH, wa'SaD yuQmey puqpu' vIHoHqangqIS! (5)


This is another slang type-8 suffix created in the advanced speakers room at qep'a' 26 from a confusion about the meaning of -qIS. Jack Bradley had mistakenly thought that -qIS was a suffix for friends, not lovers, and had to have it explained to him. After being disappointed that there was no slang type-8 friend suffix, Agnieszka Solska, John Harness, Ethan Shoulson, and Jack Bradley made one up together for laughs. It has stuck around on the KLI Discord server and Klingon Twitter since.

See also


1 : HolQeD 12:4, p. 2-3 "From the Grammarian's Desk" by Captain Krankor

2 : Message to the list by William Martin, 19 July 1993

3 : Message to the list by Krankor, 16 July 1993

4 : Post on Facebook of 29 April 2017 by John Harness

5 : message of April 19, 2004 by Captain Krankor

Category: KLI    Latest edit: 27 Apr 2021, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 13 Dec 2014 by KlingonTeacher
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