Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 09:50:32 -0500
To: [email protected]
From: Steven Boozer [email protected]
Subject: Re: Klingon WOTD: pub (v) jIn

Cf. also jIn "brew".

lay'tel SIvten:
What is the source of this word? And its part of speech?

Hmmm, this seems to come from an old entry in my notes:

I remember and I actually were discussing *raktajino*
while he was working on the book , as soon as we both found
out that it was Klingon coffee... He really hated the /-ino/
ending, since it sounded too obviously like cappuccino, and said
he'd have to check with Maltz about *raktaj* ... and I had the
theory that the Klingon wasn't "raktaj" or whatever, but actually
*raktajin* and the /-o/ was added by marketers for similarity with
Terran brews. Why *raktajin*? Because it was brewed from raHta',
making it raHta'jIn." (~mark)

I had jIn "brew" in my notes, probably because I thought it had been
vetted by Okrand, since he was discussing it as a possibility. But as it
happened, Okrand rejected this hypothesis - no doubt because raHta'
*racht* is a type of large food worm served live. While Klingons might
enjoy a beverage made from liquefied worms, humans definitely won't and
*raktajino* wouldn't have become one of the favorite beverages on DS9. We
now read in KGT (pp. 95-96) that:

Though not native to the Empire, Klingons have developed a way to
make coffee (qa'vIn) particularly strong, both in flavor and in
its effect as a stimulant, and it is a very popular beverage. As a
rule, coffee is consumed plain--that is, black--but some Klingons
prefer to mix other ingredients in with the coffee. If some kind
of HIq ("liquor") is added to the coffee, the drink is called
ra'taj. It is said that the drink was originally nicknamed ra'wI'
("commander's knife," suggestive of its potency), and that the
name was shortened over time. This often repeated story cannot be
confirmed. In any event, ra'taj became one of the few Klingon
foods to become popular outside of the Empire, though in an altered
form. Instead of containing liquor, as does the genuine Klingon
ra'taj, the "export" version (which came to be pronounced *raktaj*
in Federation Standard) consists of strong Klingon coffee plus a
nutlike flavoring. Eventually, a new fashion developed--adding cream
to the *raktaj*--and with this innovation came yet another name,
*raktajino*, modeled after the name of another popular coffee drink,
cappuccino. *Raktajino* is now served hot or iced, with or without
extra cream, and with or without the rind of some fruit to add even
more flavor. Though it is sometimes called "Klingon coffee," it is
quite different from both plain qa'vIn and the alcoholic ra'taj.

So, I will make the correction to my notes and mark *jIn as speculation.

Thanks for catching this.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons