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The following terms have been transcribed and translated as well as possible from the Kryptonese. This is not always easy, as that alphabet contains 118 letters, each representing a particular sound.
Plurals are formed by adding an O to a word.
A double letter indicates a strong emphasis on the sound.
Kryptonian men use hyphenated names, like Jor-El, the last part being the family name - as with the El family. Except in the case of orphans, women take their father's full names as last names, as with Lara Lor-Van, daughter of Lor-Van.
There are 11 characters used for the numerical system. Their zero is used only for the purpose of indicating a zero, while 10 has a special character of its own. Using the Roman X to stand for it, we could say that X=10, 1X=20, 2X=30, and so on. 100 is 9X, 101=X1, 110=XX, and 111 is the first three-digit number.
The calendar is quite different from our own, since 18 Kryptonian years equals 25 Earth years. As the aging process was the same there, a Kryptonian was fully grown at the age of 15.
ALURA - Wife of Zor-El and mother of Supergirl (Kara). See Zor-El and Argo City.
AMPAR - Commander, captain, or chief officer.
AR-GO - One of the best seamen of his time until the vessel he commanded was sunk (KRYPTON CHRONICLES #2).
ARGO CITY - A city on the west coast of Lurvan (q.v.). Under a plastic dome erected by Zor-El, it miraculously survived the explosion that destroyed Krypton. Many years later, its people were destroyed by Kryptonite, except for Zor-El, Alura, and Kara (Supergirl), who had been born there after Krypton's death. See Kara and Zor-El.
BETHGAR - A Ruler; roughly equivalent to our King or Emperor.
BOKOS - An island populated by thieves who outlawed honesty and legalized what were deemed crimes elsewhere. Bokos did not join the Kryptonian federation, but remained independent until Krypton died.
BRENN-BIR - A criminal who joined with two friends, Vas-Quor and Kyl-lbo, to terrorize Kandor when they acquired super-powers from contact with an old crony, Ak-Var. Ak had just been released from the Phantom Zone, and had been affected by Red Kryptonite, which always has unpredictable effects on Kryptonians. Ak-Var helped Superman defeat his former pals. For more on him, see under Van-Zee.
BUR-EL - An ancestor of Superman who lived five generations after Krypton's Great Flood. His story is told in KRYPTON CHRONICLES #3.
BYTHGAR - The feminine form of Bethgar; equivalent to Queen or Empress.
DANDAHU OCEAN - Krypton's largest ocean; east of Urrika and west of Lurvan.
DENDARO - Plural of Dendar, a Kryptonian "minute" consisting of 100 thribo, the equivalent of Earth seconds.
DROTHO - Plural of Droth, a type of large sea-bird that fed chiefly on Silten.
DRYGUR - Leader; equivalent of an Earth governor or president.
DRYGUR MOLIUM - The leader of the Science Council. (See Molium.)
EL - An ancient Kryptonese word meaning Star.
ERKOL - The oldest city on Krypton, founded in ancient times on the continent of Urrika. Twice destroyed, the first time in a 200 year war with another city-state, Xan, it was rebuilt each time and survived until Krypton's destruction.
FANFF - Six days, making a Kryptonian "week."
FANFFO - Plural of FANNF.
FIRE FALLS - One of the natural wonders of Krypton, looking like a waterfall made of fire.
FLAMEBIRD - Ak-Var, reformed Phantom Zone criminal. See under Van-Zee and Brenn-Bir.
GOLD KRYPTONITE - An isotope of Kryptonite. Instead of killing Kryptonians, as Green Kryptonite can do, it removes their super-powers permanently.
GRAHU - An artificial material, somewhat like plastic, but much stronger, used for building on Krypton.
GRAHU-HUT - A portable shelter made of grahu.
HAL-VU - A leading statesman of Erkol at the time of the Kryptonian Federation.
HATUAR - The Kryptonian word for ASBESTOS, named for Hatu-El.
HIAZ - A liquid measure used in ancient Krypton. It was somewhere between one pint and one-half liter.
JES-MO Kandor's chief weapons scientist during the Last War.
JOR-EL I - Superman's grandfather, a famous scientist.
JOR-EL II - Superman's father, son of Jor-El I. Both were famous scientists of Krypton.
JURU - A valley on the continent of Lurvan. The only part of the planet which was never explored.
KAL-EL - Superman's Kryptonian name, as well as the name of his ancestor, Erkol-El's son. Kal means Child; hence, Kal-El means Star Child.
KANDOR - The first capital of united Krypton. The city was stolen by Brainiac, the space-villain, who shrunk it and placed it in a bottle. After defeating Brainiac, Superman rescued the city and kept it in his Fortress of Solitude for years. He eventually found a way to enlarge it on another world, the planet Rokyn.
KARA ZOR-EL - Supergirl's Kryptonian name. Since women took their fathers' full names as last names, her complete Kryptonian name is Kara Zor-El. See Zor-El.
KIL-GOR - One of Krypton's first great inventors, best known for his invention of a kind of hourglass. (See KRYPTON CHRONICLES #3)
KRYPTONOPOLIS - The city of Superman's birth. Actually, this is a rendering of the name in Earth language, using the Greek "polis" (city). The original Kryptonian name is very difficult to pronounce. The city was founded by outcasts from Erkol, mutated by radiation during the Erkol-Xan war. Although they were strange in appearance - and had telekinetic powers - their offspring were normal.
LESLA-LAR - A native Kandorian who was Supergirl's double and became her enemy. An orphan, Lesla took a surname from the family of her best friend, Zora Vi-Lar.
LORAXO - Plural of Lorax, a period of 73 days, making a Kryptonian month. Six of these months made a year of 438 days (Amzet in Kryptonese). There were also 73 weeks of six days each.
LURVAN - The continent on which Superman was born and on which both Kandor and Kryptonopolis were located.
MARG-ROM - Gam-El's assistant in architecture.
MITHEN - One of Krypton's two moons. It was hurled into a new solar orbit when Krypton exploded.
MOLIUM - Any member of the Science Council.
MUNDRO, MOUNT - The highest peak on Krypton, located on the continent of Twenx, west of Urrika.
NIGHTWING - See Van-Zee
NIM-EL - Jor-El II's twin brother, a weapons scientist of Kandor. His son, Don-El, is Chief of Police in Kandor.
NIOZ - An island off the east coast of Urrika.
OLIPHENT - A type of large animal domesticated and used as a beast of burden in ancient Urrika. Despite the similarity to our word "elephant," there was little resemblance to this Earth creature except that both are large. The Oliphent was not even a mammal, but a warm-blooded, egg-laying creature. If, as some scientists now believe, dinosaurs were warm-blooded, they may have been something like the Oliphent.
PHANTOM ZONE - A twilight dimension into which convicted criminals were projected during the last year of Krypton's existence.
PRYLIGU - A large sea-monster of Krypton.
RAO - In the mythology of ancient Krypton, the sun-god, who was deemed the chief of all gods. So great was the respect for the red sun of Krypton that any soldier of Erok's time automatically became an officer if he had red hair. When Jaf-El preached the worship of the One god, he gave Him the name of Rao, though no longer identifying Him specifically with the sun. Note that in the wedding ceremony, the phrase used was "Rao, who kindled the sun," showing Him to be the sun's creator, but not the sun itself.
ROKYN - The planet on which Kandor was enlarged. From RO=the possessive form of Rao + KYN=gift. Therefore, "Gift of God".
SCIENCE COUNCIL - The ruling body on Krypton and in Kandor. Members are elected for life by a vote of the people, based on their contributions to science.
SHYLA KOR-ONN - A former Phantom Zone prisoner who fought Supergirl.
SIN-DAR - A statesman of the city-state of Stratu, in Urrika, at the time of the Kryptonian Federation.
SILTEN - A type of edible algae, or seaweed.
SUL-EL - One of Superman's ancestors, inventor of the telescope. His story was told in KRYPTON CHRONICLES #2.
TANTH - A title of respect for a man; equivalent to Sir or Mister in English. The feminine form is Tynth.
TANTHO - Plural of Tanth, a term of respect for a man. Akin to "gentlemen".
TANTHUO FLEZ - From the same root as Tanth; Tanthu (the singular) cannot be exactly translated into English, as we have no equivalent word. It indicates a non-human creature accorded great respect. Combined with Flez, meaning "able to fly," the term is used for the amazing creatures which saved the people from the flood. The best we can do in translating Tanthu Flez into English is to call it the "Winged One."
THOUGHT-TRACKER EYE - A Kryptonian device able to home in on criminal minds by their peculiar brain-waves.
THRIB - A very short period of time, equivalent to an Earth second.
TRO-EL - Val-El's brother, who had been in a good deal of trouble from boyhood. He had just been released from prison a short time before he joined his brother's voyage of discovery.
TWELLIAN - A succulent fruit native to Krypton. It's flavor is unlike that of any Earth fruit, but quite delicious.
TWENX - A smaller continent west of Urrika; site of Mount Mundru, highest peak on Krypton.
TYNTHO - Plural of Tynth, the feminine of Tanth. Tynth means, roughly, Lady, or Madame.
VAL-EL - An ancestor of Superman, and a great explorer. He used Kil-Gor's lodestone discovery to invent the compass. His story was told in KRYPTON CHRONICLES #2.
VAN-ZEE - Superman's look-a-like cousin living in Kandor; his mother was a younger sister of Superman's grandfather. A prominent scientist and a Molium , he has a double life as Nightwing, the "Batman" of Kandor. His partner, Flamebird, is Ak-Var, former Phantom Zone criminal, now reformed, working as Van's assistant, and married to Van's niece. Van is also a member of the Superman Emergency Squad.
VAR-EL - Father of Jor-El I and great-grandfather of Superman. Denied the right to continue with experiments deemed dangerous on Krypton, he invented a means to travel to Earth by teleportation. Here the fears of his colleagues on Krypton proved correct, and he was swept into another dimension, where he perished.
VATHLO - Island populated by a black race. They retained their independence throughout history, and did not join the planetary federation, though maintaining good relations with it.
WANAN - A former plain outside Kandor. In the years following the Federation, it was built up and became part of the city.
WEGTHOR - One of Krypton's moons. It was destroyed when an experiment by the criminal-scientist Jax-Ur went wrong, killing the people who had colonized it. The remains of this moon joined with space debris to form rings around Krypton like those around Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.
WHIRL-HAILSTORM - A furious storm with the force and circular motion of a hurricane, combined with driving hail.
WOLU - A Kryptonian "hour", consisting of 100 dendaro or 10,000 thribo. Ten Woluo made one day (Zetyar in Kryptonese).
WOLUO - Plural of WOLU.
YAGRUM - A particularly dangerous, but rare, monster of Krypton; extinct since the planet's destruction.
YUDA - One of the chief goddesses of ancient Krypton. She was the patron of love and also Krypton's two moons, which, when they came together on the night sky, were believed to represent marriage. Though her worship ended with the flood, she was remembered in folklore, and at one time a mechanical statue of her was used at certain festivals in Superman's home city, Kryptonopolis.
ZOR-EL - Younger brother of Superman's father, Jor-El II. He lived in Argo City, which survived Krypton's doom. When Argo City was destroyed by Kryptonite, he sent his daughter Kara to Earth and managed to project himself and his wife, Alura, into another dimension. His daughter, Supergirl, later freed them. They then went to live in Kandor.
ZORA VI-LAR - A Kandorian villainess and close friend of Lesla-Lar. Calling herself Black Flame, she tried to expose Supergirl to Gold Kryptonite, which could steal her powers permanently.
Source: The Krypton Chronicles, © DC Comics, 1981. Writer: E. Nelson Bridwell, Penciller: Curt Swan, Editor: Julius Schwartz