Maltz's Reward
Part II

His invitation to the qep'a' once
again mysteriously lost in
transit, Maltz recently had a chance
to think about another of the
questions posed by a winner of the
missing-Frasier-line contest.

This time, the request was for a
very specific verb, one meaning
"exceed one's authority, commit
hubris, be too big for one's britches,
demand respect one has yet to earn,
claim rank one has yet to have been

Maltz said that, yes, there was
indeed a word similar to that
requested. In fact, there were a few.
He had trouble coming up with brief
Federation Standard definitions. He
tried several, but kept coming back
to "false honor."

The verb that is used to describe
notions closest to those requested is
HoQ. Maltz translated this as "be
honored falsely, be falsely
honorable" and said it could be used
in the same places quv "be honored,
be honorable" could be used, but
only when the honor was not
legitimate. Thus, a delegate to the
Klingon Empire could well be
described as a Duy quv "honored
emissary," but if it turned out that
he or she was a spy, the phrase Duy
"falsely honored emissary"
would be appropriate.

Note that there is a difference
between HoQ and quvHa' be
dishonored." A Klingon warrior who
reveals signs of cowardice in battle
might be described as a SuvwI'
dishonored warrior. A warrior
who exhibits the same behavior but
who somehow hides this from his or
her cohorts and is awarded accolades
for valor might, when this was
discovered, be described as having
been a SuvwI' HoQ falsely honored

As one might expect, HoQ has
rather bad connotations in Klingon
society, so it is not to be used lightly
or without the expectation of a
challenge from the person to whom
it applied or from that person's

A similar verb is Qaq behave
falsely honorably, behave in a falsely
honorable manner. This would be
used of someone who purported to
be someone or something he or she
was not. It is used in cases where
one misrepresents oneself in order to
be accorded honor one is not
entitled to, and in that way it is
different from toj deceive and ghet
pretend, neither of which has this
kind of connection to honor. Thus
Qaq and QaqwI' one who behaves in
a falsely honorable manner as well as
toj and tojwI' deceiver could be
applied so someone in the military
or government claiming to be of a
rank not actually achieved or to
someone who claimed to be a
member of a particular house or
family but who, in fact, is not. One
who makes false claims about a
product being offered for sale or
who provides misleading military
intelligence, on the other hand,
while clearly a tojwI', is not a
QaqwI' since the person making
misleading statements is not making
false claims about his or her place in
society or asking for respect not due
to him or her. (ghet and ghetwI'
pretender generally do not imply
deception, but simply role-playing.)

Another word that fits in here is
mIl be formerly honored. This would
be applied to a leader who left office
is disgrace, for example, or an
ousted ship's captain. It would not
be used of a 'utlh, an officer who
has stepped down or retired
voluntarily and who is still

There three verbs may be
followed by the suffix -moH cause,
giving rise to, for example,
HoQmoH honor falsely and mIlmoH
honor formerly. QaqmoH would
mean cause to behave in a falsely
honorable manner, as in:

muQaqmoHta' veqlargh
Fek'lhr made me behave in a falsely
honorable manner

(mu- he/she me,
-ta' accomplished, veqlargh Fek'lhr).

Maltz mentioned one noun
associated with these verbs,
DavHam, which he defined simply
as false honor, but which really
covers the same semantic ground as
both HoQ and Qaq (but not really
mIl). DavHam is different from
quvHa'ghach dishonor (noun) in
that the latter does not imply
seeming to be honorable or the
appearance of honorability, but
rather the lack of or loss of honor.

All this talk of pseudohonor and
nonhonor logically led to a
discussion of honor itself, normally
expressed by the nouns quv and
batlh, both usually defined as
simply honor. When asked to
distinguish between the two, Maltz
said, "tlhIngan Soj 'oH --- not
," literally, "It is Klingon food
--- you will not understand," using
Soj food in its idiomatic sense of
matter, concern, affair. Nevertheless
he then went on, though a bit
begrudgingly, to say that quv was a
sort of personal honor, the kind over
which, by one's behavior, one has
some control. This sort of honor is
earned, can be bestowed on one,
and is associated with reputation,
dignity, and respect. batlh, on the
other hand, is a grander, more
general, more philosophical
concept, associated with integrity,
rectitude, scruples, and principles.
Unfortunately, he didn't give
examples or elaborate any further.
He did add, however, that neither
quv nor batlh was the same as pop,
usually translated reward but
sometimes translated honor in the
sense of token of esteem, that is,
formal recognition of an
accomplishment or accomplish-

Maltz then changed the subject
and said that some of the notions in
the requested verb were not quite
covered my HoQ, Qaq, or mIl.

The notion of "too big for one's
britches" ("be too haughty or
arrogant for one's status") as well as
that of "commit hubris" ("be
presumptuous or arrogant") might
best be rendered in Klingon not by
HoQ but by nguq be arrogant,
haughty, conceited an undesirable
trait. To be Hem proud, however, is
quite admirable and does not carry
any connotations of arrogance as
the Federation Standard words
"proud" and "pride" sometimes do.
The noun 'eDjen refers to a person
who is arrogant or haughty.

The idea expressed by "exceed
one's authority" might be translated
wogh transgress, do more than is
acceptable. bIwogh, literally you
transgress or you do more than is
acceptable, is probably best translated
idiomatically as you go too far.

Finally, the person requesting
words associated with false honor
also asked if there were a word or
phrase meaning "Oh, yeah?" (This
was a backup request, in case Maltz
didn't feel like talking about honor.
Fortunately, Maltz was not all that
untalkative.) This is an exclamation
expressing disbelief or even
defiance. In Klingon culture, the
requester suggested, this might be
the immediate precursor to curse

Maltz distinguished this phrase
from another "Oh, yeah?" meaning
simply "Is that so?" (as in "I just
heard some interesting news." "Oh,
yeah? What is it?"). This would be
qar'a', literally is (it) accurate? (qar be
accurate, -'a' question).

The defiant "Oh, yeah?"
(perhaps better punctuated "Oh,
yeah?!?" or the like), Maltz observed,
is really more a Federation
phenomenon, not a Klingon one.
He said that he's observed that
among members of the Federation,
it is uttered when, in the course of
an argument, one can think of
nothing better to say to make one's
next point. In his mind, it's an
expression of exasperation. For
Klingons, exasperation is not an
admirable characteristic.

There is, however, an expression
that serves a similar role, including
the defiance but lacking the
exasperation. If one were to hear
one Klingon say to another,
bItaHrup'a'? are you prepared to
continue? (bI- you, taH continue, -rup
ready, prepared, -'a' question), one
should probably either stand back or
get closer, depending upon whether
one thinks a fight or stimulating
round of curse warfare is about to
ensue. The expression carries the
element of defiance only if the
pronominal element is second
person (SutaHrup'a' is the form used
when addressing a group rather than
an individual ).
taHrup'a' means merely is he/she (or
are they) ready to continue? It's just a
question. Even with a second-person
pronoun, in a context that is clearly
nonconfrontational, the phrase
bItaHrup'a' (or SutaHrup'a') could
be used to convey its literal
meaning, Are you ready to continue?"
The defiant sense of the expression,
however, is more common.

Maltz felt sure that there was a
connection between this expression
and the expletive taHqeq, but he
couldn't explain exactly what the
connection was.