From: "Marc Okrand" [email protected]
Newsgroups: startrek.klingon
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 23:33:15 -0400
Subject: Re: muqaD veS!!!!!!!

Qermaq wrote in message [email protected]...

qagh DaSoptaHvIS *fork* Dalo'!

I'll avoid entering into this bout of mu'qaD veS "curse warfare" even
though it's a grand Klingon tradition. I will, however, add a little bit
to Qermaq's terrific example of the art.

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

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.