Newsgroup message of May 5th, 1998

Subject: Re: muqaD veS


Introducing the words for "fork" and "spoon"


Newsgroup: Klingon Usenet Forum
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 23:33:15 -0400


The Klingon word for "fork" is puq chonnaQ.

As is well known, Klingons prefer to get food into their mouths without the aid of implements (except for such things as the bowl containing soup or the goblet containing bloodwine). Nevertheless, they have become acquainted with the eating habits of other cultures and have become aware of such things as forks. On occasion, they'll even use the implements, most commonly when partaking of a non-Klingon meal (whether on a Klingon planet or elsewhere) but sometimes when eating Klingon food, as if to add an exotic touch to the meal experience. (Not all Klingons are skilled in using forks, however, and some simply refuse to deal with them. Those who do not use them seem to be not at all troubled by eating "foreign" food using Klingon means – that is, hands.)

The term puq chonnaQ is, at least in origin, somewhat derisive. It literally means "child's hunting spear," suggesting that the eating implement is small and not very effective (though the actual child's spear, as opposed to the "fork," is useful for training in the art of hunting).

The Klingon word for "spoon" is baghneQ. Even though spoons were never typically used when eating, the word appears to have been in the language for a long time, suggesting that it may once have meant something else. One theory is that it comes from nagh beQ "flat stone, flat rock" and that the initial sounds of the two words, n and b, were, for some reason, transposed. This is, however, just speculation.

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