S ghach
gac ] / [ gac ]
Klingon letters:

1. lurk, lie in wait, lie low

word type: verb, TKD chapter 4.
Probably intransitive (not confirmed)


qepHom Saarbrücken 2013
First used in Star Trek Into Darkness (see list)
See new words released at qepHom'a' 2013

Canon examples

ghach jIvvo' naH. DaH pIghvamDaq So''eghtaH.
There is a criminal hiding in these ruins. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

2. nominalizer
word type: Type 9 verb suffix, TKD chapter 4.2.9.


The Klingon Dictionary p. 176

More Information

The type 9 verb suffix -ghach is described to be attached to verbs with suffixes used to create a noun. On the other hand, the rule does NOT say that you are NOT allowed to attach to bare verb stems. That's why words like tulghach have lead to discussions, which usually end with the explanation that this word sounds like "hope-ation" instead of the intended noun "hope".

TKD explains as follows:
It is not known if all verbs can be used as nouns, but it is known that verbs ending in suffixes (such as -Ha' undo in lobHa' disobey) can never be nouns. The Type 9 suffix -ghach, however, can be attached to such verbs in order to form nouns.

TKD gives examples using the two verbs lo' and naD:

lo' use, make use of lo' use
lo'laH be valuable lo'laHghach value
lo'laHbe' be worthless lo'laHbe'ghach worthlessness

naD commend naD commendation
naDHa' discommend naDHa'ghach discommendation
naDqa' commend again naDqa'ghach re-commendation


In a message to the mailing list of 13 February 2017, experienced Klingonist David Trimboli made a good point explaining the suffix -ghach:
bubble   This is an OPINION PAGE. It may contain different points of view about different parts of Klingon. You may add useful thoughts, but please remember this is not a forum.

The reason people suggest avoiding -ghach is to avoid adding a suffix (usually the type 7 verb suffix -taH) just because you're supposed to, but not really meaning that suffix.

vuttaHghach doesn't mean "cooking", it means an ongoing act of cooking, or continuous cooking. That's not what you mean when you want to say "I like to cook". What you'd want to say is vutghach vIparHa', but you can't say that.

Make no mistake: adding -ghach to a bare verb is wrong, even though Marc Okrand simply called it "marked." Okrand tells us in HolQeD 3:3 that saying belghach is like saying "pleasureness". We all understand it, but you don't say it. Klingons might not take it as badly as we would take pleasureness, but it's still not right.

The idea behind -ghach is this: Imagine you've got a verb like bel to please, and you've got a magic nominalizer button that, when pressed, turns the verb bel into the noun bel. Imagine this button works on any verb, but for the moment forget about verbs that don't have known noun counterparts (like tlhutlh drink ). Stick a suffix on the verb, and press the button. When we put, say, -taH onto bel to get beltaH be continuously pleased and then press the button, nothing happens. The presence of the suffix blocks our nominalization button. So Okrand comes along and gives us a magic suffix, -ghach, which when stuck on the end counteracts the presence of the blocking suffix and lets the nominalizer button work again. We add the suffix and push the button and ZAP! we get beltaHghach ongoing pleasure.

The point of -ghach is to hide the verb's other suffixes from the nominalization process, so you can turn the suffixed verb into a noun again.

Now, the funny thing is, this process works to counteract suffixes and nominalize verbs that don't actually have noun counterparts! So while I can't use tlhutlh to mean "a drink", I CAN say tlhutlhtaHghach for ongoing drinking.

So people find themselves wanting to use -ghach on verbs that don't have noun counterparts, but they're not actually interested in counteracting suffixes; they just want a noun form of the verb. But, the rules say, you can't really use -ghach without a suffix. So they go and pick the one that least changes the meaning of the verb (usually -taH) just so they can get access to -ghach, even though they're not using it for its real purpose.

Whenever you feel an urge to use -ghach on a verb, don't use -ghach at all. Find some other way to say what you want to say, like sentences-as-objects.

And no, don't put prefixes on verbs with -ghach. We don't think you're supposed to do that.

Canon examples

This table lists all words ending with -ghach that are part of this dictionary. If you think there is one missing, you can easily ➞ create a new page and add the word. It will automatically show up in this list.
Klingon Canon definition Source
quvHa'ghach corruption other
quvHa'ghach mIr losing streak qepa
lo'laHbe'ghach worthlessness TKD
lo'laHghach value TKD
naDHa'ghach discommendation TKDaddendum
naDqa'ghach re-commendation TKD
SaHHa'ghach disinterest, apathy other
ventaHghach nerdiness other
wovtaHghach light, brightness other
Number of topics: 9

Similar sounding words

Did you search for ghaj?

Cite this entry

Definition of {ghach}
from the Klingon Language Wiki:
Retrieved 28 Nov 2022

Copy and paste, or:
Click to share on Facebook /

Category: verb / verbsuffixqepHom words   

Latest edit: 09 Mar 2020, by KlingonTeacher
Created: 20 Sep 2019, by KlingonTeacher

Logo for the Dictionary of Contemporary Klingon

Editors read this first
see example page

remember the swap of q > k and ' > - as in qa' = ka- and Daq = Dak

1. noun 2. verb 3. others

  • Search

Go to main Wiki:

Visit us on Facebook:
Facebook logo for link button

The Klingon Language Wiki is a private fan project for educational purposes. Please read the copyright notice for details.