The origin of t'hy'la:
Gene Roddenberry came up with the name in his novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The word "t'hy'la" is Vulcan and means 'brother', 'friend' and/or 'lover'.
The use of t'hy'la:
From the novelization:
"Jim! Goodbye, my...my t'hy'la. This is the last time I will permit myself to think of you or even your name again."
- Spock when leaving for Gol.
There was much to put out of his mind. Why was it difficult to forget Chekov's astonished delight which greeted him at the command airlock when he boarded. And on the bridge - Kirk! The mere name made Spock groan inwardly as he remembered what it had cost him to turn away from that welcome. T'hy'la!
- Spock's thoughts after seeing Kirk again.
More use of t'hy'la:
An Editor's note was placed in the book saying this:
The human concept of friend is most nearly duplicated in Vulcan thought by the term "t'hy'la", which can also mean "brother" and "lover". Spock's recollection (from which this chapter is drawn) is that it was a most difficult moment for him since he did indeed consider Kirk to have become his brother. However, because "t'hy'la" can be used to mean "lover" and since Kirk's and Spock's friendship was unusually close, this has led to some speculation over whether or not they had actually indeed become lovers. At our request, Admiral Kirk supplied the following comments on this subject:
"I was never aware of this 'lovers' rumor, although I have been told that Spock encountered it several times. Apparently, he had always dismissed it with his characteristic lifting of his right eyebrow, which usually connoted some combination of surprise, disbelief, and/or annoyance. As for myself... I have always found my best gratification in that creature called woman. Also, I would not like to be thought of as being so foolish that I would select a love partner who came into sexual heat only once every seven years."
Looking more closely at Kirk's statement:
I was never aware of this 'lovers' rumor
Kirk simply says he was not aware that people thought them as being lovers.
although I have been told that Spock encountered it several times.
Another statement of fact. This also says that Kirk and Spock must be really close for Kirk to know Spock has heard this because then Spock must have told him.
Apparently, he had always dismissed it with his characteristic lifting of his right eyebrow, which usually connoted some combination of surprise, disbelief, and/or annoyance.
He says the lifting 'usually' covers those emotions but not always. He's avoiding the issue all together.
As for myself... I have always found my best gratification in that creature called woman.
Gratification? Not love? That does not mean he cannot have a same sex relationship. Besides for him to say being with a women brings him the best gratification he needs to compare it with something else so this statement just shows that Kirk's bisexual.
Also, I would not like to be thought of as being so foolish that I would select a love partner who came into sexual heat only once every seven years."
First of all who says Vulcans are indeed only able to have sex once every 7 year and secondly who says this goes for Spock? Kirk certainly don't say that. Also he says he don't want people to think he's that stupid; he does not say that those statements are indeed true even if they appear to be what people commonly think.
Kirk's not saying that they're not lovers. In fact if he wanted to say that he could just say, 'I love Spock as a brother but that's all. We're not lovers and never will be'. Yet that's not what he said.
Kirk did not answer the question about wheather or not Spock and him are lovers. He avoided the question.
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