The Ferengi are a race from the Star Trek universe. They first appeared in , the fourth episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, during which they made first contact with the in 2364 on the planet Delphi Ardu, though they had been mentioned in the series' pilot. They and their culture are characterized by a obsession with profit and trade and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals. They are also known for their business acumen.
Their home planet, Ferenginar, is the center of the 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 'Klingons on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Federation's arch-rival, but viewers could not see the ridiculous creatures as posing any kind of consistent threat. Thus, Paramount scrapped them as true threats, and they were usually shown as being somewhat of a one-dimensional nuisance, and plots involving them were usually 'comedic ones. Paramount instead revived the 'Romulans at the end of season one and introduced the 'Borg in season two to serve as the Federation's main arch-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. Oddly enough, internal references in ' made it clear that the Klingons and the 'Cardassians 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 ' episode "'Dear Doctor", when, in 2151, a Valakian astronaut that encounters the crew of the 'Enterprise (NX-01) 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 "'Acquisition", but would never learn the name of their race, and thus not make the connection with the race mentioned by the Valalkian astronaut.
Star Trek: The Next Generation first featured the three original Ferengi in the episode entitled '"The Last Outpost". The original three Ferengi names were Letek (played by 'Armin Shimerman), Mordoc, and Kayron.
'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the series that focused the most on the Ferengi. 'Armin Shimerman joined the regular cast of the show as Ferengi bartender 'Quark. Other Ferengi also appeared on the show, most notably Quark's brother 'Rom ('Max Grodenchik) and Rom's son 'Nog ('Aron Eisenberg). Nog would later become the first ever Ferengi in 'Starfleet. 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.
['edit] Anatomy' Edit
The Ferengi are a 'humanoid species, somewhat smaller than humans, usually reaching approximately five feet in height. They have unusually large 'ears, which are more pronounced in males than in females, giving them an excellent sense of 'hearing. They have lobed foreheads, large, ribbed noses, ascending 'ribs, upper and lower 'lungs, and a four-lobed 'brain that cannot be read by the 'telepathic powers of 'Betazoids or 'Vulcans, although half-Betazoid 'Deanna Troi, herself incapable of telepathic contact with non-Betazoids, could empathically sense their emotions, as seen in ' and other episodes. 'Data once mentioned Ferengi being "stronger than they appear"; however, in later episodes they are usually shown as being significantly weaker than the average human. The ears, at least in males, are 'erogenous zones; Ferengi are seen to take sensual delight when their ears are stimulated, described by the word umox ("oo-mox".) The Ferengi also colloquially use the word lobes much as the word balls is used in modern English (as in, "I didn't think you had the lobes for that!!"). Ferengi 'teeth resemble jagged spikes, and they use a hand-held "tooth sharpener" to maintain them. Ferengi have six toes, this can be seen in one
 Characteristics Edit
The Ferengi realize that Humans 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 banking 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 285 Rules of Acquisition, 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, rather than through military action.Racism 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 or apartheid. However it must be pointed out that until the very end of the series, the Ferengi were notorious for their sexism. 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 and crimes of passion 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. 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 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, and aristocracy, nepotism, oligarchy, and dictatorship 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.Despite the possible profits from nuclear power, the Ferengi never tested nuclear weapons 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, and were astounded that humans would allow the sale of cigarettes, which are both addictive and unhealthy. However, they have been known to sell weapons to both sides in a war, though this may be looked down upon.The Ferengi have a strong work ethic, and encourage thrift and saving over conspicuous consumption. 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 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. Even though their status is determined entirely by wealth, the Ferengi would consider it foolish to establish an "upmarket" clientèle 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, often drives them to great length to satisfy a potential customer's needs and to find a market for their goods.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 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 names for European traders, or for Westerners in general. The name is likely derived from the Arabic word faranj or ifranj, "Franks", or possibly the Persian word farangi, meaning "foreigner". In Ethiopia, ferenj or ferenji has the same meaning. The source of the name is likely from the Byzantine Greeks 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 for Western Europeans. The term was used as a partially derogatory term in India to denote the British; however, the word is often used in an affectionate way. The Star Trek usage is derived from the above.[unreliable source?]"Grand Nagus" is the appellation of the Ferengi head of state. The similarly pronounced "Negus", a loanword from Ethiopic languages, was up until a few decades ago the appellation of the Ethiopian head of state for several centuries / millennia. It comes from the Afro-Asiatic (Semitic) root verb for reign, "N-G-Ś". Society CultureThe 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.Ferengi culture is a satire of free-marketeconomics and based entirely on commerce, and the 285 Rules of Acquisition 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 162 in order to create a demand for the other 161 Rules that had not yet been created.Most of the rules were written by Ira Steven Behr, a producer of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 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.Ferengi culture is so devoted to unregulated capitalism that concepts such as labor unions, sick leave, vacations, or paid overtime for workers are considered abhorrent, because they would interfere with the exploitation of workers. In addition to the Rules, the Ferengi also recognize the five Stages of Acquisition: infatuation, justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale. The five Stages of Acquisition may be based on the five stages of grief.Until the episodes "Ferengi Love Songs" (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 Nine's penultimate series episode, "The Dogs of War", it was indicated that Ferengi capitalism was coming under greater regulation, with historic changes towards Left-wing politics and policies being made with respect to things such as female rights, universal health care, 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, 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'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 dish gagh), while others are served jellied or in a juice form. Popular beverages include Eelwasser and Slug-O-Cola ("The slimiest drink of the universe"). 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, 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 are almost universally loathed by all Ferengi (especially its agents, known as Liquidators), and are possibly meant as a parody of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. 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 and a roulette 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. ReligionThe 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, which they view as a holy site of commerce and business.  Economics and tradeSee also: Rules of AcquisitionThe 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 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).The currency of the Ferengi is Gold-Pressed Latinum, a fictional liquid, stored in gold slips, strips, bars and bricks in standardized amounts. Latinum derives its value from being non-replicable by any known existing or predicted replication technology. LanguageIn the Star Trek television shows, Ferengi, like almost every other alien race are almost always shown speaking in English, but as with other races, they are known to have their own language. The Deep Space Nine episode "Little Green Men" shows Ferengi speaking their own language when their Universal Translators 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 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. 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" of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) and none for "crisp."There exists an unofficial constructedFerengi language. Geography and architectureThe Tower of Commerce on FerenginarTheir homeworld, Ferenginar, is a Class M planet in the Star Trek universe, homeworld of the Ferengi and the capital of the Ferengi Alliance. The atmospherics of Ferenginar are very stable. It is almost always raining heavily, resulting in a swampy climate. Ferengi buildings are generally low, dome-shaped buildings with narrow doorless entrances. At 40 stories, 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 AllianceIn 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), 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 as the gateway to business in the Gamma Quadrant.The Alliance remained neutral during the destructive Dominion War 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. TechnologyD'Kora classFirst appearance"The Last Outpost"AffiliationFerengiGeneral characteristicsArmamentsPhoton torpedoesDisruptorsIn the Star Trekfictional universe, 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 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 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.'s Star Trek Customizable Card Game in the Rules of Acquisition Expansion to the First Edition.  HistoryAccording 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., Gint started writing the Rules of Acquisition, 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, Rom, Nog and Odo) crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. 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 from the Breen. 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 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, 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 Generation's first-season episode "The Battle," and later in its seventh season, in the episode "Bloodlines