Moon phases

In paq'batlh, one sentence describes the crescent moon. While working on the 2nd edition, Marc Okrand told us a bit more about different moon phases. For the full text, see ➞ paqbatlh news.

Moon phases

M phase description literal translation
🌑 new moon maS So'lu'chu'bogh moon that is perfectly hidden
🌒 crescent moon maS'e' loQ So'be'bogh QIb moon that a shadow doesn't slightly hide; that is, the shadow hides most of the moon, but not all of it.
🌒 crescent moon maS'e' loQHa' So'lu'bogh** moon that is considerably/appreciably hidden.
🌓 quarter moon [not given] -
🌔 gibbous moon* maS'e' loQ So'lu'bogh** moon that is slightly hidden; refers to a mostly full moon
🌕 full moon maS'e' So'bogh pagh moon that nothing hides

* Okrand did not use the term "gibbous", but that's the closest meaning to what he describes as "a mostly full moon".

** Okrand didn't use -'e' when explaining these expressions, but it's clearly an error since the object precedes the adverb.


What these have in common is the idea that the moon is fully or partially or not at all hidden. What's doing/causing the hiding is of less importance. So while using QIb when describing phases of the moon is perfectly fine and not at all uncommon, it is not necessary.

These phrases are descriptions. They're commonly used, but they're not frozen forms. So they can be manipulated grammatically. (1)

Related vocabulary

word translation
jar month
maS moon
maS naptop lunar eclipse
tab wane
tabHa' wax

See also


1 : Marc Okrand to David Yonge-Mallo, see paq'batlh news

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