This is a compilation of known proverbs from the fictional Klingon race in the
television shows and films. Some of these proverbs are not original to Star Trek Star Trek, but are likely cited as "Klingon" for entertainment value and/or to draw parallels between Human and Klingon culture.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Khan Noonien Singh, , who refers to this as a "Klingon proverb". Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Klingon (CSUR):
bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay' Literal translation: When cold revenge is served, the dish is always very good
Earliest known print reference:
Mathilde (1841) by Eugène Sue
Original French (1782) : Et puis la vengeance
se mange très-bien froide, comme on dit vulgairement... books.google
Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man.
qaStaHvIS wa' ram loSSaD Hugh SIjlaH qetbogh loD Literal translation: One man can cut four thousand throats in a single night, if he is continually running.
episode " Star Trek: The Original Series Day of the Dove" Klingon language source: The Klingon Dictionary, Marc Okrand
Only a fool fights in a burning house.
meQtaHbogh qachDaq Suv qoH neH Literal translation: Only a fool fights in a house that continues to burn.
Kang, Star Trek: The Original Series, "Day of the Dove" Klingon language source: The Klingon Way, Marc Okrand
A fool and his head are soon parted.
tugh qoH nachDaj je chevlu'ta' Literal translation: Soon a fool and his head will be separated.
, The Final Reflection John M. Ford Klingon language source: qurgh lungqIj
The wind does not respect a fool.
Destroying an Empire to win a war is no victory. And ending a battle to save an Empire is no defeat.
noH QapmeH wo' Qaw'lu'chugh yay chavbe'lu', 'ej wo' choqmeH may' DoHlu'chugh lujbe'lu' Literal translation: Victory is not achieved if an Empire is destroyed in order to win a war, and it is not failure if a battle is backed away from in order to preserve an Empire
, " Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Way of the Warrior" Klingon language source: The Klingon Way, Marc Okrand
A leader is judged not by the length of his reign but by the decisions he makes.
Great men do not seek power; it is thrust upon them.
If you cannot control yourself, you cannot command others
bISeH'eghlaH'be'chugh latlh Dara'laH'be' Literal translation: If you cannot control yourself, you cannot command others.
Klingon Honor Guard manual, page 16 Klingon language source: Unknown
Death is an experience best shared.
Heghlu'DI' mobbe'lu'chugh QaQpu' Hegh wanI' Literal translation: When someone dies not alone the death event is good.
Klingon Honor Guard manual, page 29 Klingon language source: The Klingon Way, Marc Okrand
Pity the warrior who slays all his foes.
Hoch jaghpu'Daj HoHbogh SuvwI' yIvup Literal translation: Pity the warrior that kills all his enemies!
Klingon Honor Guard manual, page 39
A sharp knife is nothing without a sharp eye.
leghlaHchu'be'chugh mIn lo'laHbe' taj jej Literal translation: A sharp knife is useless if the eye is unable to clearly see.
Klingon Honor Guard manual, page 47 Klingon language source: The Klingon Way, Marc Okrand
Brute strength is not the most important asset in a fight.
Suvlu'taHvIS yapbe' HoS neH Literal translation: While fighting, only power is not enough.
Klingon Honor Guard manual, page 55 Klingon language source: The Klingon Way, Marc Okrand
Yet if my line should die,
It dies with its teeth in the enemy's throat,
It dies with its name on the enemy's tongue.
For just as mere life is not victory,
Mere death is not defeat;
And in the next world I shall kill the foe a thousand times,
Perhaps today is a good day to die.
If winning is not important, why keep score?
Own the day.
jaj vIghaj Ensign Lyndsay Ballard's favourite Klingon battle cry.
Star Trek Voyager: Season 6, episode 18, Ashes To Ashes
Peace may cost less than war, or infinitely more, for war cannot cost more than one's own life.
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