Newsgroup message of February 21, 1998

Subject: color (for Okrand)


After somebody asked for the word for "brown", Okrand explains some shades of colors and how to use them.


Newsgroup: Klingon Usenet Forum
Date: Saturday, February 21, 1998 12:26 AM


What we call "brown" would be described in Klingon by using the verb Doq "be red, orange." If the context is clear (such as contrasting a brown thing with a thing that cannot be described as Doq, such as something that's SuD "blue, green, yellow"), Doq alone is good enough. Thus, if there are two drinking cups, one brown and one blue, one might say:

HIvje' Doq vIneH
"I want the Doq cup"

(HIvje' "cup, glass, drinking vessel," vIneH "I want it")

Only the brown cup could be described as Doq; the blue cup is definitely not Doq since it is SuD.

On the other hand, to be more precise when talking about the color (when, for example, there's a brown cup and a red cup), Klingons would typically use the phrase:

Doq 'ej wovbe' "be orange/red and not be bright"

('ej "and," wov "be light, bright," -be' "not")

To get even more specific (to be able to refer to different kinds of browns) would involve comparisons. For example:

Doq 'ej Qaj wuS rur "be orange/red and resemble kradge lips"

('ej "and," Qaj "kradge [a kind of animal]," wuS "lip, lips," rur "resemble")

The lips of the kradge are presumably a particular shade of brown.

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This article was reprinted in HolQeD, vol. 8 issue 1, March 1999.

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