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The Ferengi are a fictitious extraterrestrial race from the Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 universe. They first appeared in "The Last Outpost", the fifth episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Roddenberry, Rick Berman, and Michael Piller served as executive producers at different times throughout the production...

 in 1987, during which they made first contact with the United Federation of Planets
United Federation of Planets
The United Federation of Planets, also known as "The Federation" is a fictional interplanetary federal republic depicted in the Star Trek television series and motion pictures...

 in 2364 on the planet Delphi Ardu, though they had been mentioned in the series' pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint". They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile
Mercantilism
Mercantilism is the economic doctrine in which government control of foreign trade is of paramount importance for ensuring the prosperity and security of the state. In particular, it demands a positive balance of trade. Mercantilism dominated Western European economic policy and discourse from...

 obsession with profit and trade and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals. They are also known for their business acumen and for exploiting females
Misogyny
Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Philogyny, meaning fondness, love or admiration towards women, is the antonym of misogyny. The term misandry is the term for men that is parallel to misogyny...

. Notable Ferengi characters include Quark
Quark (Star Trek)
Quark is a fictional character in the American television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The character, which was played by Armin Shimerman, was depicted as a member of an extraterrestrial race known as the Ferengi, who are stereotypically ultra-capitalist and only motivated by...

, Rom
Rom (Star Trek)
Rom is a recurring character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is played by Max Grodénchik.Rom is a Ferengi, the son of Keldar and Ishka. He is Quark's younger brother, and the father of Nog.-Overview:...

, Nog, Ishka, Zek, and Brunt, all of whom were featured prominently in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe...

.

Their home planet, Ferenginar, is the center of the Ferengi Alliance and is governed by the Grand Nagus and a Commerce Authority made primarily of the Council of Economic Advisors (formerly Board of Liquidators). Like most of their culture, their religion is also based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a "Blessed Exchequer" in hopes of entering the "Divine Treasury" upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the "Vault of Eternal Destitution".

Concept and creation


The Ferengi were originally meant to replace the Klingon
Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

s on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Federation's arch-rival, but viewers could not see such comical looking creatures as posing any kind of consistent threat. Thus, Paramount repurposed them as a one-dimensional nuisance, and plots involving them were usually comedic
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

 ones. Paramount instead revived the Romulan
Romulan
The Romulans are a fictional alien race in the Star Trek universe. First appearing in the original Star Trek series in the 1966 episode "Balance of Terror", they have since made appearances in all the main later Star Trek series: The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager...

s at the end of season one and introduced the Borg
Borg (Star Trek)
The Borg are a fictional pseudo-race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek universe associated with Star Trek.Whereas cybernetics are used by other races in the science fiction world to repair bodily damage and birth defects, the Borg use enforced cybernetic enhancement as a means of...

 in season two to serve as the Federation's main rivals.

In "Encounter at Farpoint" the Bandi leader Groppler Zorn is the first to mention the Ferengi when he threatens to sell Farpoint Station to them, to which Picard said he hoped the Ferengi found the Bandi as tasty as their last associates. References in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe...

 made it clear that the Klingons and the Cardassian
Cardassian
The Cardassians are an extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek science fiction franchise. First introduced in the 1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Wounded", the species originating on the fictional Alpha Quadrant planet Cardassia Prime...

s had been interacting with the Ferengi for years prior to "Encounter at Farpoint", yet apparently the Federation never received information about the Ferengi in data exchanges with either race. In internal Star Trek chronology, however, the earliest known reference to the race occurs in the 2002 Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Trek: Enterprise is a science fiction television series. It follows the adventures of humanity's first warp 5 starship, the Enterprise, ten years before the United Federation of Planets shown in previous Star Trek series was formed.Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001...

 episode "Dear Doctor", when, in 2151, a Valakian astronaut that encounters the crew of the Enterprise (NX-01)
Enterprise (NX-01)
The Enterprise is a fictional starship in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise. It is commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer.-History:...

 mentions the Ferengi in passing, but the Enterprise crew do not recognize the name. The crew would encounter the Ferengi themselves later that season in the episode "Acquisition", but would never learn the name of their race and thus not make the connection with the race mentioned by the Valakian astronaut.

Star Trek: The Next Generation first featured the three original Ferengi in the episode titled "The Last Outpost". The original three Ferengi names were Letek (played by Armin Shimerman
Armin Shimerman
Armin Shimerman is an American actor. Shimerman is best known for playing the Ferengi bartender Quark in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Principal Snyder in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kramer's caddy Stan on Seinfeld, voicing Dr. Nefarious in the Ratchet & Clank series, and Andrew...

), Mordoc, and Kayron.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the series that focused the most on the Ferengi. Deep Space Nine heavily revised and expanded upon the Ferengi, removing the "fierce threat" slant that Next Generation had pursued, and embracing the Ferengi as a race of comedic, greedy merchants. Armin Shimerman
Armin Shimerman
Armin Shimerman is an American actor. Shimerman is best known for playing the Ferengi bartender Quark in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Principal Snyder in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kramer's caddy Stan on Seinfeld, voicing Dr. Nefarious in the Ratchet & Clank series, and Andrew...

 joined the regular cast of the show as Ferengi bartender Quark
Quark (Star Trek)
Quark is a fictional character in the American television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The character, which was played by Armin Shimerman, was depicted as a member of an extraterrestrial race known as the Ferengi, who are stereotypically ultra-capitalist and only motivated by...

. Other Ferengi also appeared on the show, most notably Quark's brother Rom
Rom (Star Trek)
Rom is a recurring character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is played by Max Grodénchik.Rom is a Ferengi, the son of Keldar and Ishka. He is Quark's younger brother, and the father of Nog.-Overview:...

 (Max Grodénchik
Max Grodénchik
Max Grodénchik , also known as Michael Grodénchik, is an American stage, film, and television actor, best known for his role as Rom on the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.- Background :...

) and Rom's son Nog (Aron Eisenberg
Aron Eisenberg
Aron Eisenberg is an American actor best known for his role as "Nog" on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.-Personal life:...

). Nog would later become the first ever Ferengi in Starfleet
Starfleet
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet or the Federation Starfleet is the deep-space exploratory, peacekeeping and military service maintained by the United Federation of Planets . It is the principal means by which the Federation conducts its exploration, defense, diplomacy and research...

. Deep Space Nine, therefore, featured many episodes that centered around the Ferengi and explored their culture in depth. It was on Deep Space Nine that Ferenginar was first seen.

Anatomy


The Ferengi are a humanoid
Humanoid
A humanoid is something that has an appearance resembling a human being. The term first appeared in 1912 to refer to fossils which were morphologically similar to, but not identical with, those of the human skeleton. Although this usage was common in the sciences for much of the 20th century, it...

 species, somewhat smaller than humans, usually reaching approximately 1.5 m (5 ft) in height. Ferengi have unusually large ear
Ear
The ear is the organ that detects sound. It not only receives sound, but also aids in balance and body position. The ear is part of the auditory system....

s, which are more pronounced in males than in females, giving them an excellent sense of hearing
Hearing (sense)
Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations through an organ such as the ear. It is one of the traditional five senses...

. Due to the size of their ears, they can also sense sudden atmospheric and altitude changes within a starship where most other species would not have noticed the changes (DS9: "Starship Down"). The ears, at least in males, are erogenous zone
Erogenous zone
An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may result in the production of erotic sensations or sexual excitement.People have erogenous zones all over their bodies, but which areas are more sensitive than others vary...

s; Ferengi are seen to take sensual delight when their ears are stimulated, described by the word umox ("oo-mox". The exact meaning is unclear: "there is no direct translation" Ménage à Troi). The Ferengi also colloquially use the word lobes much as the words brains or balls are used in modern English (as in, "I didn't think you had the lobes for that!").

Ferengi also have lobed foreheads, large, ridged noses, ascending rib
Rib
In vertebrate anatomy, ribs are the long curved bones which form the rib cage. In most vertebrates, ribs surround the chest, enabling the lungs to expand and thus facilitate breathing by expanding the chest cavity. They serve to protect the lungs, heart, and other internal organs of the thorax...

s, upper and lower lung
Lung
The lung is the essential respiration organ in many air-breathing animals, including most tetrapods, a few fish and a few snails. In mammals and the more complex life forms, the two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart...

s, and a four-lobed brain
Brain
The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals—only a few primitive invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, sea squirts and starfishes do not have one. It is located in the head, usually close to primary sensory apparatus such as vision, hearing,...

 that cannot be read by the telepathic powers of Betazoid
Betazoid
In the fictional Star Trek universe, Betazoids are a sentient humanoid species from the planet Betazed, a member of the United Federation of Planets.-Overview:...

s or Vulcan
Vulcan (Star Trek)
Vulcans, or sometimes Vulcanians, are an extraterrestrial humanoid species in the Star Trek universe who evolved on the planet Vulcan, and are noted for their attempt to live by reason and logic with no interference from emotion. They were the first extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek...

s, although half-Betazoid Deanna Troi
Deanna Troi
Commander Deanna Troi is a main character in the science-fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and related TV series and films, portrayed by actress Marina Sirtis. Troi is half-human, half-Betazoid and has the psionic ability to sense emotions. She serves as the ship's counselor...

, herself incapable of telepathic contact with non-Betazoids, could empathically sense their emotions, as seen in The Price and other episodes. Data
Data (Star Trek)
Lieutenant Commander Data is a character in the fictional Star Trek universe portrayed by actor Brent Spiner. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek...

 once mentioned Ferengi being "stronger than they appear"; however, in later episodes they are usually shown as being significantly weaker than the average human. Ferengi teeth resemble jagged spikes, and they use a hand-held "tooth sharpener" to maintain them.

Characteristics


The Ferengi realize that Humans
Human (Star Trek)
In the Star Trek science fiction universe, Humans/Terrans are one of the races undertaking interstellar travel. Human beings were instrumental in the founding of the United Federation of Planets...

 and other species often look down on them for their ravenous profiteering and lack of independent technological or cultural achievements. However, Ferengi often see other races as self-righteous and, as Ferengi have come into regular contact with Humans, their own self-image has improved by comparison. While their criticism that Humans took well over 6,000 years to develop a central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

ing system after the beginning of their civilization may seem lacking in moral force, other arguments can be more convincing.
  • In theory, every business transaction that a Ferengi makes is governed by two hundred eighty-five Rules of Acquisition
    Rules of Acquisition
    The Rules of Acquisition, in the fictional Star Trek universe, are a set of guidelines intended to ensure the profitability of businesses owned by the ultra-capitalist alien race known as Ferengi.-Background:...

    , though the rules themselves give the Ferengi license to cheat, steal, and bend the truth to suit their needs.
  • The Ferengi are possibly one of the least belligerent races seen in Star Trek. Although they have fought skirmishes with other races, they have never been involved in an all-out war. Even on Ferenginar, disputes were almost always settled through extending economic hegemony
    Hegemony
    Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

    , rather than through military
    Military
    A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

     action.
  • Racism
    Racism
    Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

     is almost unknown among the Ferengi. It is unclear if there even are racial divisions among the Ferengi. Indeed, believing that a Ferengi merchant would refuse to serve anyone because of their race is almost unthinkable—there would be no profit in it. There has never been any indication that the Ferengi engaged in genocide
    Genocide
    Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

     or apartheid. However it must be pointed out that until the very end of the series, the Ferengi were notorious for their sexism
    Sexism
    Sexism, also known as gender discrimination or sex discrimination, is the application of the belief or attitude that there are characteristics implicit to one's gender that indirectly affect one's abilities in unrelated areas...

    . Ferengi also believed the Federation was a "homo-sapiens only club" and practiced racial discrimination against the Ferengi. They also are known for pronouncing "human" as hew-mon.
  • Revenge
    Revenge
    Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is also called payback, retribution, retaliation or vengeance; it may be characterized, justly or unjustly, as a form of justice.-Function in society:Some societies believe that the...

     and crimes of passion
    Crime of passion
    A crime of passion, or crime passionnel, in popular usage, refers to a crime in which the perpetrator commits a crime, especially assault or murder, against someone because of sudden strong impulse such as sudden rage or heartbreak rather than as a premeditated crime...

     are nearly unknown among the Ferengi—again, they rarely see any profit in either. The Ferengi idea of revenge is more akin to the concept of schadenfreude
    Schadenfreude
    Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This German word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages, and has been calqued in Danish and Norwegian as skadefryd and Swedish as skadeglädje....

    . Causing your enemy to lose profit, or fail to profit, is considered the best revenge.
  • Despite the goal of vast accumulation of wealth, income mobility
    Economic mobility
    Economic mobility is the ability of an individual or family to improve their economic status, in relation to income and social status, within his or her lifetime or between generations...

     among the Ferengi seems to be quite high. A poor Ferengi who has the "lobes for business" will almost certainly rise to great heights. Ferengi society seems to be based on strict meritocracy
    Meritocracy
    Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

    . Aristocracy
    Aristocracy
    Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

    , nepotism
    Nepotism
    Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

    , oligarchy
    Oligarchy
    Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

    , and dictatorship
    Dictatorship
    A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

     are almost unknown in Ferengi society. In fact, former Grand Nagus Zek rejected his own son, Krax, as his successor when Krax attempted to assassinate acting Grand Nagus Quark after Zek faked his own death: not because he had tried to do something morally wrong, but because Zek saw resorting to such a crude attempt to gain control as the sign of an incompetent undeserving of the position. On rare occasion it is possible for the administrators of the FCA to remove a Grand Nagus from power, apparently when he has displayed such gross incompetence that he is determined to be medically unfit to lead. For example, Grand Nagus Zek was in danger of being removed from power when his advancing senility resulted in mistakes that produced a stock market crash (though ultimately Zek was able to rely on advisors for the remainder of his tenure).
  • Despite the possible profits from nuclear power
    Nuclear power
    Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

    , the Ferengi never tested nuclear weapon
    Nuclear weapon
    A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

    s in their atmosphere. In addition, the Ferengi do not often believe in selling products that are inherently dangerous from regular use, as that would reduce their customer base. For example, the Ferengi invented synthehol for use as a harmless substitute for ethyl alcohol
    Ethanol
    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

    , although they were impressed that humans would allow the sale of cigarette
    Cigarette
    A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...

    s, which are both addictive and unhealthy. Ferengi have also been involved in the sale of various addictive and dangerous substances, while they may prefer to sell intoxicants that don't reduce their consumer base, they are willing to sell substances that will kill their customers if there is enough profit. They have also been known to sell weapons to both sides in a war, though this may be looked down upon (even in such cases, the logic is often used that they don't make customers actually use weapons, so they are selling deterrents).
  • The Ferengi have a strong work ethic
    Work ethic
    Work ethic is a set of values based on hard work and diligence. It is also a belief in the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character. An example would be the Protestant work ethic...

    , and encourage thrift and saving over conspicuous consumption
    Conspicuous consumption
    Conspicuous consumption is spending on goods and services acquired mainly for the purpose of displaying income or wealth. In the mind of a conspicuous consumer, such display serves as a means of attaining or maintaining social status....

    . When a Ferengi makes a major purchase, it is likely to be something very useful for making further profit. Ferengi make excellent administrators as they are well versed in accounting
    Accountancy
    Accountancy is the process of communicating financial information about a business entity to users such as shareholders and managers. The communication is generally in the form of financial statements that show in money terms the economic resources under the control of management; the art lies in...

     and inventory procedures, and can often apply these skills to other endeavors.
  • The Ferengi do not appear to appreciate class or have a class system
    Social class
    Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

    . Even though their status is determined entirely by wealth, the Ferengi would consider it foolish to establish an "upmarket" clientele when there would be profit to be made in selling goods to less fortunate people. In fact, the Ferengi belief in the "Great Material Continuum", an analogue of the unrestricted free market
    Free market
    A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

    , often drives them to great length to satisfy a potential customer's needs and to find a market for their goods. It is worth noting that the Ferengi economy is not actually an unrestricted free market, and is subject to the Ferengi Commerce Authority's heavy regulation (the authority breaks strikes and has the ability to seize all assets of any Ferengi who does not comply with FCA regulation).
  • To the Ferengi, profit is its own reward (Rule of Acquisition #41). Arms merchants are tolerated, as with any business. Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #34 states "War is good for business"; however, Rule of Acquisition #35 rebuts "Peace is good for business." Ferengi engage in the practice of selling defensive weaponry to weaker species under attack, in addition to selling to species that are more belligerent.
  • The Ferengi consider pregnancy to be a rental, with the father being termed the lessee.
  • In one episode of DS9, Quark and Benjamin Sisko
    Benjamin Sisko
    Benjamin Lafayette Sisko, played by Avery Brooks, is the main character of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.-Early life and career:...

     share an exchange in which Quark makes the case that the Ferengi are a more civilized race than humans:
    Quark: I think I figured out why humans don't like Ferengi—
    Sisko: Not now, Quark.
    Quark: The way I see it, humans used to be a lot like Ferengi: greedy, acquisitive, interested only in profit. We're a constant reminder of a part of your past you'd like to forget.
    Sisko: Quark, we don't have time for this.
    Quark: You're overlooking something, Commander. Humans used to be a lot worse than Ferengi. Slavery, concentration camps, interstellar war; we have nothing in our past that approaches that kind of barbarism. You see? We're nothing like you. We're better.

Etymology


"Ferengi" and similar terms are Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 names for Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an traders, or for Westerners in general. The name is likely derived from the Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 word faranj or ifranj, or Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 farangi, meaning "Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

". In Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, ferenj or ferenji has the same meaning, as does farang in Thai. The source of the name is likely from the Byzantine Greeks
Byzantine Greeks
Byzantine Greeks or Byzantines is a conventional term used by modern historians to refer to the medieval Greek or Hellenised citizens of the Byzantine Empire, centered mainly in Constantinople, the southern Balkans, the Greek islands, Asia Minor , Cyprus and the large urban centres of the Near East...

 who were the Westerners' neighbors; this usage spread to the Near East, Asia, Africa and even China. Greeks still sometimes use fra[n]gkoi (φράγκοι) as an exonym
Exonym and endonym
In ethnolinguistics, an endonym or autonym is a local name for a geographical feature, and an exonym or xenonym is a foreign language name for it...

 for Western Europeans, and the modern Greek term ferengios (φερέγγυος, ο φέρων- εγγύηση, ο δυνάμενος να εγγυηθεί) literally translates as "the able to ["bear" (=carry)] guarantee (himself)", the trust-worthy, and not only in a financial way! The term was used as a partially derogatory term in India to denote the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. The Star Trek usage is derived from the above.

"Grand Nagus" is the appellation of the Ferengi head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. The similarly pronounced "Negus
Negus
Negus is a title in Ge'ez, Tigrinya, Tigre and Amharic, used for a king and at times also a vassal ruler in pre-1974 Ethiopia and pre-1890 Eritrea. It is subsequently used to translate the word "king" in Biblical and other literature...

", a loanword from Ethiopic
Ge'ez language
Ge'ez is an ancient South Semitic language that developed in the northern region of Ethiopia and southern Eritrea in the Horn of Africa...

 languages, was up until a few decades ago the appellation of the Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

n head of state for several centuries / millennia. It comes from the Afroasiatic (Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

) root verb for reign, "N-G-Ś".

Culture


It is forbidden for Ferengi women to wear clothing, as referenced in several episodes of the first season. The Ferengi originate from the planet Ferenginar, in the center of the Ferengi Alliance located in the Alpha Quadrant. Precisely what the Ferengi Alliance consisted of was never revealed; it may simply encompass Ferenginar and any uninhabited planets that the Ferengi have colonized, since there was little indication that the Ferengi government exercised authority over any species other than its own.

The Two Hundred Eighty-Five Rules of Acquisition
Rules of Acquisition
The Rules of Acquisition, in the fictional Star Trek universe, are a set of guidelines intended to ensure the profitability of businesses owned by the ultra-capitalist alien race known as Ferengi.-Background:...

 compose the sacred code on which all of Ferengi society is based. They were first written down by Gint, the first Grand Nagus (the title of the leader of the Ferengi Alliance). The title "Rules of Acquisition" was chosen as a clever marketing ploy (since the rules are merely guidelines) and Gint numbered his first rule one hundred sixty-two in order to create a demand for the other one hundred sixty-one Rules that had not yet been created.

Most of the rules were written by Ira Steven Behr
Ira Steven Behr
Ira Steven Behr born 23 October 1953, in New York City, New York, USA is an American television producer and screenwriter, most known for his work on Star Trek, especially Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, on which he served as showrunner and executive producer...

, a producer of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe...

, and he has published many of them in a book The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (ISBN 0-671-52936-6), the cover of which credits authorship as being "By Quark as told to Ira Steven Behr". Additional rules were published in Legends of the Ferengi (ISBN 0-671-00728-9), by Behr and Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Robert Hewitt Wolfe is an American television producer and screenwriter. He is mostly known for his work as a writer on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and for developing and producing the series Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda...

.

Ferengi culture is so devoted to unregulated capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 that concepts such as labor unions
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

, sick leave, vacations, or paid overtime for workers are considered abhorrent, because they would interfere with the exploitation of workers. Ferengi workers don't particularly mind this system, because they all want to eventually gather enough wealth to become employers themselves, exploiting their own workers. In addition to the Rules, the Ferengi also recognize the five Stages of Acquisition: infatuation
Limerence
Limerence is a term coined c. 1977 by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov to describe an involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated...

, justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale
Sales
A sale is the act of selling a product or service in return for money or other compensation. It is an act of completion of a commercial activity....

. The five Stages of Acquisition may be based on the five stages of grief
Kübler-Ross model
The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as The Five Stages of Grief, was first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying....

.

Until the episodes "Ferengi Love Songs
Ferengi Love Songs
"Ferengi Love Songs" is an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the twentieth episode of the fifth season.-Plot:Depressed over his lot in life — especially being blacklisted by the Ferengi Commerce Authority — Quark goes to his homeworld of Ferenginar for some comfort from his mother, Ishka...

" (in which it was revealed that Ishka, the mother of Quark and Rom, had become romantically involved with Grand Nagus Zek), and "Profit and Lace", the laws and society of the Ferengi were extremely harsh towards its women. Female Ferengi were forbidden to make profit, wear clothes, talk to strangers, or travel without the permission of the eldest male of the family. Ferengi women traditionally softened food for members of their family by chewing it, and selling one's mother for gold-pressed latinum, the principal form of legal tender, is an act that would be looked on with admiration in Ferengi society.

By the time of Deep Space Nines penultimate series episode, "The Dogs of War", it was indicated that Ferengi capitalism was coming under greater regulation, with historic changes towards left-wing
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 politics and policies being made with respect to things such as female rights, universal health care
Universal health care
Universal health care is a term referring to organized health care systems built around the principle of universal coverage for all members of society, combining mechanisms for health financing and service provision.-History:...

, workers' rights, etc. Zek's appointment of Rom to be his successor as Grand Nagus suggests that this trend will likely continue, given that Rom was long-depicted as more liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

, compassionate, and sensitive than more traditional Ferengi such as Quark.

Noteworthy Ferengi males are neither buried nor cremated when they die. Rather, the dying male puts his body up for auction to the highest bidder and the dead body is carved up into little pieces that are vacuum-desiccated, preserved and packaged for sale as mementos of a worthy life. (In one DS9 episode, Constable Odo expresses an interest, when the time comes, in buying Quark
Quark (Star Trek)
Quark is a fictional character in the American television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The character, which was played by Armin Shimerman, was depicted as a member of an extraterrestrial race known as the Ferengi, who are stereotypically ultra-capitalist and only motivated by...

's remains. In another episode, Quark, faced with the eventuality of death on a far-off planet laments that his carcass will remain unmourned and "unsold").

A subset of the Ferengi culture are known as Eliminators, and they routinely hire themselves out as assassins to anyone willing to pay for their services. Most Ferengi, however, view Eliminators as eccentric at best (since Eliminators appear to enjoy the sport of killing more than the profits gained thereby) or dangerous psychopaths at worst (killing potential customers, which is not good for business), and avoid them whenever possible.

An important component of Ferengi cooking appears to be insects and other small invertebrates. Some, such as tube grubs and gree worms, are nearly always served alive (like the Klingon
Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

 dish gagh), while others are served jellied or in a juice form. Unlike how humans are repulsed at the idea of eating Klingon gagh (live "serpentine worms"), Quark has been observed eating gagh on several occasions, though commenting that he thinks it tastes bland and boring. Popular beverages include Eelwasser and Slug-O-Cola ("The slimiest drink in the galaxy"). The cuisine of the Ferengi has achieved little acceptance among other cultures, with a few notable exceptions. Ferengi invented the alcohol substitute synthehol, and the alcoholic drink "black hole" is popular among some non-Ferengi.

Outside of Ferenginar, many Ferengi enjoy the food of other cultures in addition to traditional Ferengi cuisine, and have integrated it into their menus. However, most Ferengi have a particular distaste for human food. In several episodes of DS9, Quark expresses his extreme distaste for root beer
Root beer
Root beer is a carbonated, sweetened beverage, originally made using the root of a sassafras plant as the primary flavor. Root beer, popularized in North America, comes in two forms: alcoholic and soft drink. The historical root beer was analogous to small beer in that the process provided a drink...

, which he describes as "so bubbly, and cloying, and happy. Just like the Federation."

When welcoming guests (or perhaps Liquidators or other officials in particular) into his home, a Ferengi male will recite a traditional greeting: "Welcome to our home. Please place your thumbprint on the legal waivers and deposit your admission fee in the slot by the door. Remember, my house is my house." The guest replies, "As are its contents".

A certain branch of Ferengi government known as the Ferengi Commerce Authority (especially its agents, known as Liquidators) are almost universally loathed by all Ferengi, and are possibly meant as a parody of the Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

. Liquidator Brunt was a recurring character on Deep Space Nine, who often found himself at odds with Quark.

A notable Ferengi pastime is the strategic game Tongo, played with cards
Card game
A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...

 and a roulette
Roulette
Roulette is a casino game named after a French diminutive for little wheel. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even....

 wheel. At each turn the player has the choice to "evade", "confront", "acquire", or "retreat". A Global Tongo Championship is held each year on Ferenginar.

Another Ferengi game using a similar wheel is Dabo. About ten players can sit around the dabo wheel, and each either "buys", "sells" or "converts" their gold-pressed latinum (money) in preparation for the next spin of the wheel. Proprietors who house dabo games in their establishments often employ attractive women (colloquially, "dabo girls") to run the games, entice customers to play and distract their attention.

Religion


The Ferengi concepts of the afterlife are a mirror of their pursuit of wealth in life. When a Ferengi dies, he is said to meet the Blessed Exchequer, who reviews the financial statements of that Ferengi's entire life. If he earned a profit, he is ushered into Ferengi heaven: the Divine Treasury, where the Celestial Auctioneers allow him to bid on a new life. Ferengi who were not financially successful in life are damned to the Vault of Eternal Destitution.

When a Ferengi prays or bows in reverence, he holds his hands in a bowl shape with his wrists together. A typical Ferengi prayer begins with this phrase: "Blessed Exchequer, whose greed is eternal, allow this bribe to open your ears and hear this plea from your most humble debtor." As is typical, this is accompanied by placing a slip of latinum into a small statue made in the Exchequer's likeness.

Ferengi also make regular pilgrimages to Earth's Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

, which they view as a holy site of commerce and business.

Economics and trade


The Ferengi concept of conducting trade and business can be best described in the episode "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River". It introduces the Great Material Continuum, a metaphor in Ferengi culture that describes trade as the binding force of all life in the universe, where there are "millions of worlds, all with too much of one thing and not enough of the other." The Continuum is a river whose current flows from those who have to those who want. According to this concept, there is a finite amount of wealth and goods in the universe, and any goods taken from one part of the "river" must be appropriately replaced or paid for by other methods. Thus, one must be sufficiently knowledgeable of the wants and needs of others to properly conduct business. A Ferengi sufficiently skilled at navigating this continuum will certainly prosper and amass great wealth and power.

If a Ferengi navigates the river properly, he can accumulate wealth and distribute it throughout society, at various points along the river. This may demonstrate an important distinction, even in Ferengi culture, between selfishness and greed. Ferengi believe that greed, while essential to their concept of economics, is not inherently selfish, because the pursuit of greed serves a greater good. This is similar to the "Greed is Good" speech made by Gordon Gekko
Gordon Gekko
Gordon Gekko is the main antagonist of the 1987 film Wall Street and the antihero of the 2010 film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, both by director Oliver Stone...

 in the film Wall Street. Alternatively, the concept may demonstrate that Ferengi culture views both selfishness and greed as completely compatible with improving the wealth of the universe as a whole (which is in fact a fundamental tenet of neoclassical economics
Neoclassical economics
Neoclassical economics is a term variously used for approaches to economics focusing on the determination of prices, outputs, and income distributions in markets through supply and demand, often mediated through a hypothesized maximization of utility by income-constrained individuals and of profits...

).

The currency of the Ferengi is Gold-Pressed Latinum, a fictional liquid, stored in gold slips, strips, bars and bricks in standardized amounts.(1 slip is minimum unit, 1 strip = 100 slip, 1 bar = 20 strip = 2000 slip.) Latinum derives its value from being non-replicable
Replicator (Star Trek)
In Star Trek a replicator is a machine capable of creating objects. Replicators were originally seen used to synthesize meals on demand, but in later series they took on many other uses.-Origins and limitations:...

 by any known existing or predicted replication technology.

Language


In the Star Trek television shows, Ferengi, like almost every other alien race are almost always shown speaking in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, but as with other races, they are known to have their own language. The Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction television series set in the Star Trek universe...

 episode "Little Green Men" shows Ferengi speaking their own language when their universal translator
Universal translator
A universal translator is a device common to many science fiction works, especially on television. First described in Murray Leinster's 1945 novella "First Contact", the translator's purpose is to offer an instant translation of any language...

s malfunction. (In that episode, we see that Ferengi typically wear their Universal Translators implanted into their ears.) In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Acquisition" the script is mostly in their language until they get the Universal translator
Universal translator
A universal translator is a device common to many science fiction works, especially on television. First described in Murray Leinster's 1945 novella "First Contact", the translator's purpose is to offer an instant translation of any language...

 working. They are one of the few alien races whose language has been heard by the home viewer. Several episodes show examples of the Ferengi written language or script, some of them being animated on computer displays, as if they were a futuristic version of a Ferengi stock ticker
Ticker tape
Ticker tape was the earliest digital electronic communications medium, transmitting stock price information over telegraph lines, in use between around 1870 through 1970...

. Ferengi writing is meant to resemble a flow chart. As a result of the rainy climate, the Ferengi language has 178 different words for "rain" (in a retread of the popular—but incorrect—"Eskimo postulate
Eskimo words for snow
The "Eskimo words for snow" claim is a widespread misconception alleging that Eskimos have an unusually large number of words for snow. In fact, the Eskimo–Aleut languages have about the same number of distinct word roots referring to snow as English does...

" of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis
Linguistic relativity
The principle of linguistic relativity holds that the structure of a language affects the ways in which its speakers are able to conceptualize their world, i.e. their world view...

) and none for "crisp".

There exists an unofficial constructed
Constructed language
A planned or constructed language—known colloquially as a conlang—is a language whose phonology, grammar, and/or vocabulary has been consciously devised by an individual or group, instead of having evolved naturally...

 Ferengi language.

Geography and architecture



The Ferengi homeworld, Ferenginar, is a Class M planet
Class M planet
Class M is a fictional classification for planets and planetoids in the Star Trek science fiction media franchise. In the Star Trek: Enterprise series, T'Pol uses the Vulcan term Minshara class, which may be the origin of the later Federation designation.Their atmospheres comprise nitrogen and...

 in the Star Trek universe, and is the capital of the Ferengi Alliance. The atmospherics of Ferenginar are very stable, and it is usually raining heavily which results in a swamp-like
Swamp
A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

 surface.

Ferengi buildings are generally low, dome-shaped buildings with narrow doorless entrances. At 40 storeys high, the tallest building on Ferenginar is the Tower of Commerce, which is adorned with a large spire. The Tower marks the Sacred Marketplace and is home to the Grand Nagus, leader of the Ferengi Alliance. The 1995 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Family Business was first to show the planet. In that episode, customs were depicted including admission fees for visitors to a person's home, charging for the use of elevators, and even seats.

Ferengi Alliance


In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Ferengi Alliance is the group of inhabited and controlled worlds located northeast of the Federation on the galactic map. It is a relatively small but very powerful group that plays a significant role in the economy of the quadrant.

The Ferengi Alliance is ultimately controlled by the Grand Nagus, followed by his subordinates in the Ferengi Commerce Authority. The ultimate aim of this group is to make profit, either through galactic expansion, acquisition (see the Rules of Acquisition
Rules of Acquisition
The Rules of Acquisition, in the fictional Star Trek universe, are a set of guidelines intended to ensure the profitability of businesses owned by the ultra-capitalist alien race known as Ferengi.-Background:...

), or trade. In the past, acquisition has been gained through attacking other ships and worlds and taking anything of value. More recently it has been determined that one cannot make a profit if one is blown up, and that peaceful trade is more profitable, so this hostile approach has been eliminated on the whole.

The Ferengi Alliance operates on a strictly patriarchal society in which women are forbidden to wear clothing or leave the home, and can absolutely never make profit. There is a strong Ferengi presence around Deep Space Nine
Deep Space Nine (space station)
Deep Space Nine is a fictitious space station, and is the eponymous primary setting of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It serves as a base for the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant via the Bajoran wormhole, and is a hub of trade and travel for the sector's denizens...

 as the gateway to business in the Gamma Quadrant.

The Alliance remained neutral during the destructive Dominion War
Dominion War
The Dominion War is an extended plot concept developed in a number of story arcs of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, an American science-fiction television series produced by Paramount Pictures...

 which laid waste to much of the Alpha Quadrant. The effects of the war on the Alliance are unknown, although it is likely to have suffered economic hardship with the collapse of neighboring economies.

Technology


In the Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 fictional universe
Fictional universe
A fictional universe is a self-consistent fictional setting with elements that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm ....

, the D'Kora-class starship, also known as the "Marauder", is the mainstay of Ferengi vessels. Though mainly used as a tradeship, the D'Kora-class is capable in battle, carrying photon torpedoes and disruptors. Tactically it is about as powerful as a Galaxy-class starship, but only has half as many crew.

Constructed by one of the Ferengi ship conglomerates, the Marauder has proven to be one of the most cost-effective vessels available. They are generally owned by the most powerful businessmen and the Ferengi Commerce Authority. They can be customized to suit the owner's needs, including customized weapon and defensive systems. A crew can even be included during a purchase, for a price.

Though the vessels are mostly used for conventional trade (legal and illegal) around the Alpha and Gamma quadrants, some of the more powerful companies in the Ferengi Alliance use them to attack colonies or other ships, stealing technology or supplies which they can resell.

Famous D'Kora-class ships include the Krayton and the Kreetchta. It was a D'Kora-class starship that Jean-Luc Picard
Jean-Luc Picard
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a Star Trek character portrayed by Patrick Stewart. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis...

 defeated at the Battle of Maxia in 2355, while captain of the USS Stargazer (NCC-2893), using a new tactic known as the "Picard maneuver".

In the non-canon game Star Trek: The Next Generation: Birth of the Federation, the Ferengi are seen using a number of new starships similar to the D'Kora-class. Examples include the Tokorn-class heavy raider and the Glantor-class troop transport.

The D'Kora class starship was included as a part of Decipher, Inc.
Decipher, Inc.
Decipher, Inc. is an American gaming company based in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. They began with three puzzles called "Decipher" then moved on to party games and Pente sets, but since 1994 produced collectible card and role-playing games. Their longest-running offering is the How to Host a Murder...

's Star Trek Customizable Card Game
Star Trek Customizable Card Game
The Star Trek Customizable Card Game is a collectible card game based on the Star Trek universe. The name is commonly abbreviated as STCCG or ST:CCG. It was first introduced in 1994 by Decipher, Inc., under the name Star Trek: The Next Generation Customizable Card Game...

 in the Rules of Acquisition Expansion to the First Edition, and in the game Star Trek: Bridge Commander
Star Trek: Bridge Commander
Star Trek: Bridge Commander is a space combat simulation game for the PC, published by Activision and Totally Games in 2002, based in the Star Trek universe....

.

History


According to Star Trek writers, in ancient times the Ferengi and the Gree vied for control of their planet. Both bartered with their gods for the upper hand, until the Gree gave too much away, and became a food source for the Ferengi.

Before uniting under a Nagus, Ferenginar was divided into warring Commerce Zones. This was known as the "Barter Age".

In about the 9th Millennium B.C.
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

, Gint started writing the Rules of Acquisition
Rules of Acquisition
The Rules of Acquisition, in the fictional Star Trek universe, are a set of guidelines intended to ensure the profitability of businesses owned by the ultra-capitalist alien race known as Ferengi.-Background:...

, laying the basis for Ferengi society.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Little Green Men, set in 1947, featured a Ferengi craft from the 2370s (carrying Quark
Quark (Star Trek)
Quark is a fictional character in the American television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The character, which was played by Armin Shimerman, was depicted as a member of an extraterrestrial race known as the Ferengi, who are stereotypically ultra-capitalist and only motivated by...

, Rom
Rom (Star Trek)
Rom is a recurring character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is played by Max Grodénchik.Rom is a Ferengi, the son of Keldar and Ishka. He is Quark's younger brother, and the father of Nog.-Overview:...

, Nog and Odo) crashed in Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell is a city in and the county seat of Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States. The population was 48,366 at the 2010 census. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also...

. This was humanity's first contact with the Ferengi, although "officially" the record showed that the crashed alien ship was actually a weather balloon.

At some point between 1947 and 2151, the Ferengi purchased warp drive
Warp drive (Star Trek)
Warp drive is a faster-than-light propulsion system in the setting of many science fiction works, most notably Star Trek. A spacecraft equipped with a warp drive may travel at velocities greater than that of light by many orders of magnitude, while circumventing the relativistic problem of time...

 from the Breen
Breen
The Breen are an extraterrestrial species in the Star Trek science fiction franchise. They were first mentioned in "The Loss", a fourth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that first aired in 1990...

. The technology was traded by a single Breen in exchange for ownership of several ice comets in the Ferengi solar system, as well as a small ice moon and all the Arctic regions on Ferenginar itself. The Breen then departed Ferengi space, never to return. It is a common Ferengi myth that he took the Arctic regions with him, but since Ferengi do not like to be in cold places, none have ever gone to check.

In 2151, a group of Ferengi raiders, using a gas-deploying device, incapacitate the crew of Enterprise
Enterprise (NX-01)
The Enterprise is a fictional starship in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise. It is commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer.-History:...

 and try to steal everything of value. Three crew members manage to foil the Ferengi and take back everything they stole before sending the pirates on their way, though the name of the raiders' race is never revealed to the crew.

In 2355, a (still unknown) Ferengi vessel fired on the USS Stargazer. The Federation commander, Jean-Luc Picard
Jean-Luc Picard
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a Star Trek character portrayed by Patrick Stewart. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis...

, returned fire, destroying the Ferengi ship, which never identified itself. The Ferengi sensationalized this incident as "The Battle of Maxia". Daimon Bok, the father of the Ferengi who captained that vessel, sought revenge on Picard, first in Next Generations first-season episode "The Battle", and later in its seventh season, in the episode "Bloodlines".

Notable Ferengi


  • Grand Nagus Zek: leader of the Ferengi
  • Quark
    Quark (Star Trek)
    Quark is a fictional character in the American television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The character, which was played by Armin Shimerman, was depicted as a member of an extraterrestrial race known as the Ferengi, who are stereotypically ultra-capitalist and only motivated by...

    : merchant on Deep Space Nine
    Deep Space Nine (space station)
    Deep Space Nine is a fictitious space station, and is the eponymous primary setting of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It serves as a base for the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant via the Bajoran wormhole, and is a hub of trade and travel for the sector's denizens...

  • Rom
    Rom (Star Trek)
    Rom is a recurring character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is played by Max Grodénchik.Rom is a Ferengi, the son of Keldar and Ishka. He is Quark's younger brother, and the father of Nog.-Overview:...

    : Quark's brother, Deep Space Nine
    Deep Space Nine (space station)
    Deep Space Nine is a fictitious space station, and is the eponymous primary setting of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It serves as a base for the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant via the Bajoran wormhole, and is a hub of trade and travel for the sector's denizens...

     engineer, Zek's successor as Grand Nagus
  • Nog: Rom's son, first Ferengi in Starfleet
  • Ishka: mother of Quark and Rom, an 'activist' of Ferengi feminism, lover and secret financial advisor of Grand Nagus Zek
  • Liquidator Brunt: official of the Ferengi Commerce Authority and bane of Quark's life

Allegations of parodying Judaism


In the book Religions of Star Trek, Ross S. Kraemer wrote that "Ferengi religion seems almost a parody of traditional Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

... Critics have pointed out a disturbing correlation between Ferengi attributes (love of profit that overrides communal decency; the large, sexualized head feature, in this case ears) and negative Jewish stereotypes." Commentator Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Jacob Goldberg is an American conservative syndicated columnist and author. Goldberg is known for his contributions on politics and culture to , of which he is editor-at-large...

 wrote that Ferengi were portrayed in The Next Generation as "runaway capitalists with bullwhips who looked like a mix between Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 caricatures of Jews and the original Nosferatu." Four of the most notable Ferengi characters, Quark, Nog, Rom and Zek, are played by Jewish actors Armin Shimerman, Aron Eisenberg, Max Grodénchik and Wallace Shawn
Wallace Shawn
Wallace Michael Shawn , sometimes credited as Wally Shawn, is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, author, voice artist, and intellectual. His best-known film roles include Wally Shawn in My Dinner with Andre , Vizzini in The Princess Bride , and debate teacher Mr...

.
In the Star Trek: The Next Generation season 6 episode Suspicions, it is mentioned that Ferengi tradition does not allow autopsies to be performed on the body of dead Ferengis. Judaism has a similar tradition, as do Catholicism, Islam and the Maronite Church.

Further reading

  • Ira Steven Behr
    Ira Steven Behr
    Ira Steven Behr born 23 October 1953, in New York City, New York, USA is an American television producer and screenwriter, most known for his work on Star Trek, especially Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, on which he served as showrunner and executive producer...

     and Robert Hewitt Wolfe
    Robert Hewitt Wolfe
    Robert Hewitt Wolfe is an American television producer and screenwriter. He is mostly known for his work as a writer on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and for developing and producing the series Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda...

    , Legends of the Ferengi (1997), ISBN 0-671-00728-9. The authors worked on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for several years and established most of what is known about the Ferengi. This book contains exclusive insights into the Ferengi.

External links


  • Highly Offensive Ferengi: Racial Issues and Star Trek's Multicultural Deep Space Nine in Film (KINEMA, A Journal for Film and Audiovisual Media, University of Waterloo
    University of Waterloo
    The University of Waterloo is a comprehensive public university in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The school was founded in 1957 by Drs. Gerry Hagey and Ira G. Needles, and has since grown to an institution of more than 30,000 students, faculty, and staff...

    )