A Humanoid race native to the planet Ferenginar. The Ferengi are the founders and leaders of an interstellar business empire, known as the Ferengi Alliance. Their culture is based upon capitalism, acquisition and profit, with greed considered a noble spiritual virtue. Ferengi can be counted on appearing wherever there is profit to be made, and they are famed for their shiftiness and marked materialism. They were historically a neutral race, having no affiliation to any other political power, but this has begun to change under the rule of progressive leader Grand Nagus Rom.
Ferengi are short in stature compared to most Humanoids, rarely growing taller than 1.5 metres. They possess bright orange skin and lips of a pale pink, with few ethnic variants. They are totally lacking in body hair, except within their ears and nostrils. The head is lumpy, a consequence of the four-lobed Ferengi brain, while the forehead features multiple folds of skin above the brow. Primary facial features include a large, wrinkled nose and razor-sharp, disjointed teeth. A prominent fleshy ridge connects the top of each earlobe to the brow, meeting above the eyes, which are relatively small. The Ferengi’s most distinctive feature, though, is the ears. Their massive lobes are highly sensitive, with a great many nerve endings. They are considered one of the most erogenous zones of the species, and fondling of the lobes is a common form of sexual foreplay with Ferengi males, having its own distinct term: Oo-mox. The lobes are also of great cultural importance, as the race’s large ears unmistakably symbolize their innate “Ferenginess”. In popular tradition, the larger the ear lobe the more powerful and vital the individual, and this is reflected in their terminology; one who has “the lobes” for something is marked out as particularly gifted. Such comments, as with much of traditional Ferengi society, can be considered sexist and denigrating to females, who have naturally smaller lobes. “Lobekins” is a Ferengi term of endearment, and “lobling” an affectionate slang term for a child, both no doubt drawing upon the associations of the lobe with wealth and talent. More practically, the ears are greatly sensitive to sound, and Ferengi hearing is superior to that of most races. The range also extends into what Humans deem the ultrasonic. Certain engineering tools used by Humans are extremely painful to any Ferengi in the vicinity, as they emit high-pitched ultrasonic frequencies. Ferengi have naturally shrill voices, and when threatened, a Ferengi produces an instinctive high-pitched shrieking noise itself.
Ferengi fingernails and toenails are a metallic green in colour; the toenails are thicker and grow more rapidly than those of Humans. The Ferengi lifespan is around average for a space-faring Humanoid; in the modern era, a Ferengi can expect to live for around 140-150 years. As with Humans, the cartilage in the nose and ears grows continuously throughout this time, resulting in elders having elongated lobes. The ear hair also grows with age, so that elderly Ferengi often have shaggy tufts protruding; these may be combed. Ferengi have two lungs like Humans, but theirs are arranged vertically, one on top of the other, rather than horizontally. They also possess ascending ribs. The Ferengi heart rate is much faster than that of a Human; as a Terran doctor unfamiliar with Ferengi physiology told Quark: “If you were Human, I’d say you just suffered a heart attack”. Their blood contains pyrocytes (fire-cells); these provoke an extreme allergic reaction when introduced through the skin to a Human.
The Ferengi brain is what really sets this race apart. The brain has four lobes, and this near-unique configuration gives the Ferengi several innate advantages when it comes to competition in the interstellar markets.
Greetings and RitualsEdit
Rubbing or pressing noses together constitutes a loving familial greeting among Ferengi.
Ferengi close a business deal with a ritualistic manoeuvre. The two place the back of their hands in contact, brushing against each another, before bringing in the palm to clasp their own shoulder. This signifies mutual distrust and suspicion, yet a willingness to work together honestly for the betterment of both parties. The ritual begins with contact and agreement, albeit with undertones of confrontation, followed by a reminder that each Ferengi is motivated by his own greed, and is co-operating for self-serving reasons. No successful Ferengi would respect anyone not motivated by their own greed; that would signify they were mere servants, agents of another’s wealth. Ferengi commonly greet each other by placing their wrists together, hands apart, with fingers curled inward; this appears to be the equivalent of the Human handshake. The grasping gesture of course signifies that the person making it is a true Ferengi, always ready to acquire. A Ferengi acting in some form of service or submission will usually bow low - or even kneel - with their face raised, while making the same gesture. When used in concurrence with the excessively low posture, it signifies the individual as yet possesses nothing - and is therefore subordinate to the wealthier, more successful Ferengi - but it also serves as a visual hint that they expect payment for any services they perform; the hands are waiting to be filled. The cultural connotations of displaying open hands are echoed again in the “obscene” gesture of waving empty hands above the head; obviously, overtly signifying you possess nothing is disgustingly deviant.
The Ferengi language features two major dialects: the “pure” Ferengi, and the Trading Tongue. The latter is a simplified version of the former, used when conducting business outside the Ferengi Alliance. Ferengi written language looks much like a flowchart, with many 60-degree angles. Text usually radiates from the centre outward, which would indicate the direction of writing as well. Ferengi text can be written with or without a hexagonal centre-point, and if there is a hexagon, text may radiate from one side only. Occasionally, simplistic codes and numbers are written in single horizontal lines. There are more than sixty Ferengi language symbols. There is no Ferengi word for “crisp”, a consequence of the permanently damp climate in which they evolved. The near-constant downpours also led them to differentiate between varieties of rain. There are in fact 178 separate words for what in English is called “rain”. Some examples, in order from the lightest rain to the heaviest, include Melnering, Vinkling, Pradooshing, Choritzing, Thloppering, Frippering, Oolmering and Glebbening. There are fifty-seven distinct words for “customer” in the Ferengi language; one of them has a secondary definition, meaning "river sludge". There are also multiple words for “no”, the exact choice conveying the degree of payment or negotiation needed to change the speaker’s mind. The Ferengi word for “charity” is a vulgar swear, considered taboo.
DaiMon: A military rank given to those commanding a starship, roughly analogous to a Federation Captain but more commonly bought than earned.
Ekrajhn-voy: “Scan-reading”, as in “Cutch eeta ekrajhn-voy?” (literally, “what say the scan-readings?”)
Frinx: A slang term for the sexual act, commonly used as a profanity or insult, as in “Frinx-for-brains” or “Frinx you!”
Fudu: A term for biological waste, and as such a slang term for an unconvincing statement: “what a load of grub-fudu”.
Gooblatrupyob: Literally means “Bank account without brains”. Idiomatic meaning: alien or foreigner.
Goss uff wokton: “Get us out of here”.
Gren fa: “Haven’t you?”
GuiMon: A military rank given to those in command of the Ferengi armed forces, roughly analogous to a Federation Admiral but more commonly bought than earned. The GuiMon-in-Chief is the supreme commander of the Ferengi fleet, and traditionally answers only to the Grand Nagus and the oversight body of the FCA.
Krut: A demon, the name is often used as a curse word.
Moogie: Affectionate slang term for one’s mother, commonly used by children.
Moogi-Jokk: A grave insult; “one who has sex with one’s mother”.
Neep-gren: “Thank you”.
Ningar: “Leave”, an imperative.