There are various types of nouns in Klingon.

Simple nouns

Simple nouns, like simple nouns in English, are simple words; for example, DoS target or QIH destruction.

Complex nouns

Complex nouns, on the other hand, are made up of more than one part.

Compound nouns

Compound nouns consist of two or three nouns in a row, much like English earthworm (earth plus worm) or password (pass plus word).

For example, jolpa' transportroom consists of jol transport beam plus pa' room.

Verb plus -wI'

A second type of complex noun consists of a verb followed by a suffix meaning one who does or thing which does. The English suffix -er (as in builder "one who builds'' or toaster "thing which toasts'') is a rough equivalent. In Klingon, the suffix is -wI'. It occurs, for example, in baHwI' gunner, which consists of the verb baH fire (a torpedo) plus -wI' one who does. Thus, baHwI' is literally "one who fires [a torpedo].'' Similarly, So'wI' cloaking device comes from the verb So' cloak plus -wI' thing which does. So'wI' is a "thing which cloaks.''

A noun formed by adding -wI' to a verb is a regular noun, so it may be used along with another noun to form a compound noun. For example, tIjwI'ghom boarding party comes from tIjwI' boarder plus ghom group; and tIjwI' comes from tIj board plus -wI'.


All nouns, whether simple or complex, may be followed by one or more suffixes. If there are two or more suffixes, the suffixes must occur in a specific order. Suffixes may be classified on the basis of their relative order after the noun. There are five types of suffixes (which, for convenience, will be numbered 1 through 5). Suffixes of Type 1 come right after the noun; suffixes of Type 2 come after those of Type 1; suffixes of Type 5 come last. This may be illustrated as follows:


Of course, if no suffix of Type 1 is used but a suffix of Type 2 is used, the Type 2 suffix comes right after the noun. If a suffix of Type 5 is the only suffix used, it comes right after the noun. Only when two or more suffixes are used does their order become apparent.

There are at least two suffixes in each suffix type. Only one suffix of each type may be used at a time. That is, a noun cannot be followed by, for example, two or three Type 4 suffixes.