The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-05-2000, 02:43 PM
Moe Moe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Well?
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 10-05-2000, 02:49 PM
plnnr plnnr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
In "The Day the Earth Stood Still" it was Klaatu's command to Gort (the robot) NOT to destroy the Earth. Gort, BTW, was played by the head doorman of Graumanm's Chinese Theater and he was so weak that they had to use a double for him to pick up Patricia Neal.

"Keep looking to the skies!"
  #3  
Old 10-05-2000, 02:54 PM
AWB AWB is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
It's from the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951).

It's the alien's command to his robot, Gort, not to destroy the Earth. If it wasn't given to him in time, he would carry out his destroy orders. Patricia Neal eventually has to race across Washington, DC (while passing all the monuments ), to the White House and say it to Gort.
__________________
Merry Christmas from Courtney, the cutest child in the world!
  #4  
Old 10-05-2000, 02:57 PM
AWB AWB is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Dang! I had the reply all ready, but kept getting interrupted before I could his Submit.
  #5  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:03 PM
Saltire Saltire is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 3,607
Since you give no details as to where you heard it, I'm going to assume you were told this totally out of context.

In the 1951 movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still," Klaatu is the humanoid alien that lands in Washington with the robot Gort. He tells the humans that they must stop their warlike ways, or Gort will be forced to destroy the planet. His people don't want a dangerous race to mature and infect the galaxy with our craziness.

Klaatu is befriended by an Earthwoman, Helen Benson. When the trouble starts (humans start acting like they might think they can take him and Gort on), he tells Helen what to do if Klaatu is hurt or killed. If that happens, Gort will blow up the Earth, unless he is commanded not to. Helen must say, "Gort, Klaatu barada nikto," to the robot.

Klaatu is of course shot, and she says the words to Gort. Gort grabs the body, reanimates Klaatu, and they leave, saying they'll give us a few years to get our act together. Otherwise, they'll be back to take us out.

So, the answer to the OP is that it means, in some alien tongue, "Klaatu doesn't want the planet atomized, and he'd like you to bring him back to life, if you'd be so kind."

When I watched the movie "Army of Darkness" and they told Ashe that he needed to use the magic words "Klaatu Barada Nikto," myself and my three friends were the only ones in the packed theater to laugh. These kids today, they just don't know their classic SF.

The movie was very loosely based on the Harry Bates short story, "Farewell to the Master." Read it if you get the chance.

I just previewed, and see that others were faster. But I'll post anyway, in case anyone wants my unnecessary details.
  #6  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:04 PM
Saltire Saltire is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 3,607
Here's a link to the film at the Internet Movie Database:
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0043456
  #7  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:12 PM
Moe Moe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Thanks all. In case you were wondering what promted my question, Cecil mentions this phrase in in his column on stopping telemarketers which is on the SD classics link today.
  #8  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:15 PM
Freyr Freyr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Given Klaatu's nearly Jesus-like patience with Terrans, I am inclined to think that Gort, Klaatu barada nikto. means more like; Gort, Klaatu is hurt, help him.
__________________
Better a bleeding heart than none at all!
  #9  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:17 PM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Jacksonville, N.C.
Posts: 9,862
Army of Darkness

"Klaatu barada n(cough, cough, cough, cough)."

Good movie, particularly the amazing shotgun which holds at least two dozen shells in its nonexistent magazine.
  #10  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:36 PM
Perderabo Perderabo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ashburn, Va, USA
Posts: 373
Well WAG has always been, "Klaatu lives nomore". It was only three words so it should translate to three words. Since Helen is delivering a message in Klaatu's native language, the message must have been given to her by Klaatu and this proves she if a friend so that's why Gort doesn't hurt her. Next, Gort is smart enough to realize the Klaatu would like to be revived so he does that. Once Klaatu is back he can give Gort any further orders.
  #11  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:47 PM
omni-not omni-not is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
[slight hijack] A while back, there was an aura of mystery surrounding the musical group Klaatu, IIRC. Has the veil ever been lifted? [/slight hijack]
  #12  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:52 PM
retsin2000 retsin2000 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
There is another thread on this.
  #13  
Old 10-05-2000, 03:57 PM
LMacG LMacG is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Perderabo
Well WAG has always been, "Klaatu lives nomore". It was only three words so it should translate to three words.
Ummm, why?
Take for example, the German word, schaudenfreude (probably not spelled correctly). Try to make a one-for-one translation into English.

I think K.B.N. means "Klaatu says 'ixnay on the estroyday.'"
  #14  
Old 10-05-2000, 04:02 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,649
It's from the classic John Huston film Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948).

When the bandits enter the miners' camp, they claim to be police agents, and Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) says "If you're the police, then show us your badges!" And Gold Hat says "Klaatu Barada Nikto."
  #15  
Old 10-05-2000, 04:19 PM
Cabbage Cabbage is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
You sure about that Uke? I always thought "Klaatu Barada Nikto" was the name of Charles Foster Kane's sled.
__________________
...ebius sig. This is a moebius sig. This is a mo...
(sig line courtesy of WallyM7)
  #16  
Old 10-05-2000, 04:32 PM
Zenster Zenster is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 9,515
Badges? We don't need no stinking sled!

Well at least I can slide in here and be the first to mention that the quote is also seen in the background on a cubicle wall in the movie TRON.
  #17  
Old 10-05-2000, 04:33 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,649
Well, Cabbage, it WAS a kind of catch-phrase around Hollywood. Sorta the "Show me the money!" of its day.

Who could forget the moving finale of King Kong, where the poice officer says "Well, the airplanes got him!" and Carl Denham says "No...Klaatu Barada Nikto."
  #18  
Old 10-05-2000, 04:41 PM
Necros Necros is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Golden, CO USA
Posts: 2,403
Or that great scene in Casablanca: "Play it, Sam. Play 'Klaatu Barada Nikto.'"
__________________
This is a time in my life when everything is falling apart, and at the same time, it's all coming together -- Grade
  #19  
Old 10-05-2000, 04:50 PM
LazarusLong42 LazarusLong42 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
This one predates even Hollywood, gentlemen, but it was revived there. Haven't you ever read your Shakespeare? Remember the scene in Julius Caesar, right after everyone has stabbed Caesar? He looks up from the ground, his life ebbing away, and to his best friend, Brutus, he says, plaintively:

"Klaatu barada nikto."

I imagine it has some Latin meaning.

LL
__________________
GQ: Wouldn't you be dead as a result of [going through a Star Trek transporter]?
Manhattan: Yes. Because you would be a fictional character, see, and therefore not alive.
  #20  
Old 10-05-2000, 04:53 PM
Ashtar Ashtar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Saltire
When I watched the movie "Army of Darkness" and they told Ashe that he needed to use the magic words "Klaatu Barada Nikto," myself and my three friends were the only ones in the packed theater to laugh. These kids today, they just don't know their classic SF.

I knew the reference! I love Army of Darkness. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi always make a great team together.


-Ashley
__________________
I hear it's amazing, when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hara-Kiri Rock! I..NEED...SCISSORS! 61!
-Campbell, MGS2
  #21  
Old 10-05-2000, 05:20 PM
Cabbage Cabbage is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Frankly my dear, klaatu barada nikto.

Quote:
[slight hijack] A while back, there was an aura of mystery surrounding the musical group Klaatu, IIRC. Has the veil ever been lifted? [/slight hijack]
I take it you're referring to the rumor that it was The Beatles recording under a pseudonym?

Referring to a Beatles biography I have (no, not that one) I found this story. Paraphrasing, Steve Smith of the Providence Journal noted there were no credits on the album nor photographs of the band, it was released by Capitol (The Beatles former label), had references to Beatles albums, and was distinctly Beatlesque. Maybe it really was The Beatles? Another "Paul is Dead" thing all over again. I'd never heard anything by Klaatu but just out of curiosity I'm downloading one of their songs now from Napster (Sub-Rosa Subway). It's definitely Beatlesque, but it's definitely not The Beatles, and anyone familiar with the voices would know that. Anyway, Capitol milked the rumor for all it was worth, and some time later it was revealed that the group consisted of Canadian studio musicians.
__________________
...ebius sig. This is a moebius sig. This is a mo...
(sig line courtesy of WallyM7)
  #22  
Old 10-05-2000, 06:11 PM
omni-not omni-not is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
cabbage...

Thanks for the input. Did a modicum of research using the song's title (which I had completely forgotten about) and...what do you know?

http://www.klaatu.org

...if you're slightly interested in additional info.
  #23  
Old 10-05-2000, 06:22 PM
Chocobo Chocobo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Just thought I'd throw this in here...Klaatu and Barada are the names of a couple of Jabba's henchbeings in Return of the Jedi. The Nikto are a species in the SW universe. I'm surprised no one else had mentioned this... I guess I'm just weird. =)
  #24  
Old 10-05-2000, 06:57 PM
Cabbage Cabbage is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Thanks for the link omni-not. Hell, after looking into it and checking out some of their songs, I just ordered one of their CD's from Amazon.
__________________
...ebius sig. This is a moebius sig. This is a mo...
(sig line courtesy of WallyM7)
  #25  
Old 10-05-2000, 07:05 PM
echidnasarf echidnasarf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
It was also used in the climactic scene in the Robin Williams bomb [i[TOYS[/i]. The villian says that when one of his own robots is about to attack him.

Actually, I enjoyed this flick. (One of the few people that did, I guess)
__________________
"Nobody finds Jesus on prom night."
- Dennis Miller
  #26  
Old 10-05-2000, 07:32 PM
omni-not omni-not is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Cabbage...

  #27  
Old 10-05-2000, 08:23 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Betwixt My Ears
Posts: 11,271
Quote:
Originally posted by Necros
Or that great scene in Casablanca: "Play it, Sam. Play 'Klaatu Barada Nikto.'"
And, how could we forget that classic scene from "Jaws", when Roy Scheider gets his first eyeful of the Shark. He stumbles backwards into the cabin and whispers to Robert Shaw, " Klaatu Barada Nikto ". To which Shaw replied, " Ipso Facto Nickel Cadmium "

Cartooniverse
  #28  
Old 10-06-2000, 07:03 AM
plnnr plnnr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
I seem to remember a scene in "John Holmes Brings It on Home" where a sweet young thing, trying to choke ol' John down her gullet distinctly said, "Klaatu Barada Nikto." I think she was trying to tell the director she was suffocating but I'm not sure.
  #29  
Old 10-06-2000, 07:18 AM
TwistofFate TwistofFate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Actually, Its what john Lennon says bacwards at the end of Strawberry Fields forever.

the full text at the end went something like, "I'm very Tall, I'm very small, Cranberry Sauce, Klaatu Barada Nikto"

when played backwards, It gives a cracking recipe for lentil soup.
  #30  
Old 10-06-2000, 09:04 AM
Perderabo Perderabo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ashburn, Va, USA
Posts: 373
LMacG said:
Quote:
Take for example, the German word, schaudenfreude (probably not spelled correctly). Try to make a one-for-one translation into English.
If you mean Schadenfreude, I guess I would go with "gloating".

All those groovy compound German words and that's the best you can do?

So how about Straßenverkehrsordnung? I would go with "roadrule". After all, you didn't blink when I called "nomore" a word. I'm aware that I may need to invent a few words to make this work. I'm also aware that many pages would be needed to fully explain all of the nuances of a foreign word, especially from an alien language.

My point was that very little information was transmitted. Your "don't destroy" theory doesn't explain why Gort revived Klaatu. It also assumes that he was going to destroy. I think he was just defending the saucer and was giving Helen an ample chance to retreat. It would be out of character for Klaatu to have told Gort: "If I'm not back in x centons (or whatever time measure he uses) kindly toast the planet".

The new information that Klaatu had recently acquired that he might want to transmit to Gort was the fact that Klaatu was was dying and would be dead by the time that Helen got to Gort. This is why I think that's the message.

The next piece of input I used in developing my WAG is the fact that the phrase in question was written by an English speaking sci-fi writer. I think it's reasonable to assume that there will be a limit to the complexity of the alien language.

But like I said this is only a WAG. Please don't begrudge me a few unproven assumptions when I make a WAG.
  #31  
Old 10-06-2000, 10:11 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,649
Remember, though, that Klaatu came from a VERY advanced civilization, where much action is probably implied by little in the way of words.

My WAG: "Please don't destroy the planet (or Patricia Neal either...I think she may have a crush on me) just yet, also, I'm dying so would you mind warming up the Resurrection Machine, and by the way they're holding me in the jail on M Street, come around the back way and melt your way in through the concrete wall, and can we have chicken cacciatore for dinner if there's any of that nice Sonoma County pinot noir left? We should also use up the fresh spinach before it goes."
  #32  
Old 10-06-2000, 10:20 AM
LazarusLong42 LazarusLong42 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
It's a set of code words that are basically meaningless to any but Gort and Klaatu, guys. If the two of them were two CIA agents, the phrase would have been something like "The chickens roost in April."

(The reponse to which would have been something like "but in May, the cows come home.")

And, Ike, you can imply a lot in a few words, but not in so few syllables. I shan't go into a dissertation on morphemes and lexemes. Trust me.

LL
__________________
GQ: Wouldn't you be dead as a result of [going through a Star Trek transporter]?
Manhattan: Yes. Because you would be a fictional character, see, and therefore not alive.
  #33  
Old 10-06-2000, 10:33 AM
Perderabo Perderabo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ashburn, Va, USA
Posts: 373
But gosh, Laz, the first word of the phrase is "Klaatu" and we know that's his name. But I guess his mama coulda named him "the chickens". If that's the case, I'll bet he had a rough time in school.
  #34  
Old 10-06-2000, 10:54 AM
TinCanMan TinCanMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
During the presidential debate Bush responded to a question with "Gore, klaatu barada nikto."
  #35  
Old 10-06-2000, 01:12 PM
leather and lace leather and lace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
nict or nikto<sp?> in latin would mean not or no
i have no idea on the origin of klaatu...and as for barada...<shrug>
  #36  
Old 10-06-2000, 01:39 PM
plnnr plnnr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Klaatu=Klaatu ("says" or "commands" is implied by the imperative form of Barada)
Barada=Kill!(Imperative mood)
Nikto="do not"

Translation: "Klaatu says 'Don't Kill!'"

A very bad attemp at applying high school learned latin-type grammatical rules to a completely made up language. Where's the damn trot when you need it?

Is it 4:15 yet? Can I go home?
  #37  
Old 10-06-2000, 01:40 PM
TinCanMan TinCanMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by leather and lace
nict or nikto<sp?> in latin would mean not or no
i have no idea on the origin of klaatu...and as for barada...<shrug>
I think I finally get it. Klaatu is Klaatu, Nitko is derived from the latin for no or not and Barada is obviously a derivation of "Baretta"

The two came to Earth in search of reruns of "Baretta" to take back to their planet. Klaatu found out that they came too early and that "Baretta" wouldn't air until 1975 and so as he's dying he sends a message to Gort: "Klaatu says there is no Baretta yet." so Gort resurrects him and they leave, planning to return in the late 1970s.

An apocalyptic vision of the future.

This also explains the little known movie "The Day the Earth Watched Baretta Reruns" (1979)
  #38  
Old 10-06-2000, 01:45 PM
omni-not omni-not is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Quote:
Originally posted by TwistofFate
Actually, Its what john Lennon says bacwards at the end of Strawberry Fields forever.

the full text at the end went something like, "I'm very Tall, I'm very small, Cranberry Sauce, Klaatu Barada Nikto"

when played backwards, It gives a cracking recipe for lentil soup.
Twist: Where the hell did you get that? Did you intend it to be a joke? (Last paragraph seems obvious enough in that respect).

I know about the 'cranberry sauce' bit, but the "I'm very tall, I'm very small ... Klaatu Barada Nikto" seems a bit far-fetched. I've read a lot about the Beatles and nowhere is this mentioned. Please enlighten us as to your source.
  #39  
Old 10-22-2000, 02:38 PM
Moe Moe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
I actually did know what it meant all along. From this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...threadid=31990

Quote:
Originally posted by Moe
Ok here goes:

I come from a very distant land where various types of fruit are held in high regard. Everyone loves apples and bananas, pears and plums, etc etc. Almost all types of fruit are very much appreciated and are thought to be gifts from the gods, and perhaps they are.
But about 2 months, we noticed people started getting very sick after eating certain peach-like fruits, particularly from the nectarines. It was advised to the lord of the land, Klaa, to make all nectarines illegal, (to, in essence, barr them from the people) but for Klaatu barada nicto rines, he would have to kill ada nicto rine trees.
  #40  
Old 10-22-2000, 04:08 PM
aseymayo aseymayo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Sto Lat
Posts: 1,420
Don't listen to them, Moe - they're all lying to you, every last one.

The original phrase was really "Klaatu Boraxo Nippon" and it meant "don't use Boraxo to clean your fine porcelain."
The phrase was a password to get into the secret headquarters of Bon-Ami, Boraxo's arch-rival. It was the only way to get past that huge doorman.
  #41  
Old 10-22-2000, 11:14 PM
black rabbit black rabbit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I always thought it was from that scene in The Karate Kid where Ralph Macchio is cleaning up Mr. Miyagi's house, and has some trouble, uh, buffing his wood. Mr. Miyagi shows him how to do it and says: "See, Daniel-san? Klaatu, barada, nikto." The rhythm of the phrase combined with the arm motions he makes in applying the wax turns out to be one of the super duper secret moves that Ralph uses to whup some ass later on in the movie.
  #42  
Old 10-22-2000, 11:21 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
Out of the slimy mud of words
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 6,992
Clearly it means: Hey kids, don't smoke.
  #43  
Old 10-23-2000, 12:20 AM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
"Klaatu says, Retreat."
__________________
  #44  
Old 10-23-2000, 02:04 AM
capacitor capacitor is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
It came from Forest Gump, when he sat on the park bench, saying "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know Klaatu Barada Nikto."
  #45  
Old 10-23-2000, 02:59 AM
Stoid Stoid is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: City of Angels
Posts: 14,270
"Beware of my large and deadly breasts"
  #46  
Old 10-23-2000, 08:34 AM
Coldfire Coldfire is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Near Amsterdam, NL
Posts: 15,973
You are all such cultural barbarians. The lot of you.

"Klaatu Barada Nikto" is a Finnish sentence, mostly known because it was used in the dubbed-over Finnish version of Teminator II. Yes, it does mean "I'll be back".
  #47  
Old 10-25-2000, 06:17 PM
Moe Moe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by aseymayo
Don't listen to them, Moe - they're all lying to you, every last one.

The original phrase was really "Klaatu Boraxo Nippon" and it meant "don't use Boraxo to clean your fine porcelain."
The phrase was a password to get into the secret headquarters of Bon-Ami, Boraxo's arch-rival. It was the only way to get past that huge doorman.
Thank's aseymayo. Geez, I post here just to get a simple straightforward answer to a simple straightforward question and these, these dirty hooligans toy with me as if fighting ignorance is some sort of game. Hmmfph!

Anyway, thanks again for setting things straight.

Boraxo Nippon ay? ::shrug:: makes sense.
  #48  
Old 10-27-2000, 01:21 PM
DropOfaHat DropOfaHat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
From

"Hello. My name is Klaatu Barada Nikto. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
  #49  
Old 10-27-2000, 01:31 PM
c_goat c_goat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
And from "The Lion King"

Klaatu Barada Nikto... what a wonderful phrase...
  #50  
Old 10-27-2000, 01:51 PM
jab1 jab1 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Hey, how do y'all know you're even spelling it right? It could be "Clahtoo bahradah nicktoe."
__________________
><(DARWIN)>
____L___L___

Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion. --Harlan Ellison

Graduate, 1983, of the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology.
Closed Thread



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.