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USF Species Databank: The Ferengi

Good day! Welcome to the Species Database entry for the Ferengi. This section of pages is part of Sector 001 on the World Wide Web, and was prepared by Galex of Ferenginar ( These pages, I hope, will help you become more familiar with Ferengi culture. And now for a little background information on the homeworld of the Ferengi people. Enjoy your stay!


FerenginarFerenginar is the capital of the Ferengi Alliance, and the seat of the Ferengi Commerce Authority. Ferenginar is known for its extremely wet climate, so much so that the Ferengi language has 178 words for "rain".

The Alliance is ruled by the Grand Nagus, recognized as the greatest merchant and slyest manipulator in the Quadrant, and guided by the Rules of Acquisition, which are many useful and ruthless principles of capitalism to be employed by all Ferengi. These rules are memorized and taken to heart by every Ferengi boy at a young age. Rule number 202 sums up the whole Ferengi code of business enterprise: The justification of profit is profit.

During the Dominion War, when most of the Alpha Quadrant powers were battling the Dominion threat pouring in from the Gamma Quadrant, the Ferengi Alliance blissfully stayed neutral, content to make their profit even when chaos abounds just by the side. Quoting from the ROA # 34: War is good for business. War for other worlds is expensive, long, and detrimental to internal economy, so why engage in war?

Ferengi Anatomy

Ferengi Ferengi (singular and plural) are slight for humanoid races, rarely passing 5 feet in stature. Primary facial features are their ridged nose, razor-sharp fangs, and highly sensitive ears, but their main deviation from ordinary humanoid physiology is the four-lobed design of the brain, whose unusual patterns prevent telepaths such as Betazoids from reading their mind.

The other uniquely Ferengi characteristic is the large ears that are highly receptive to touch. Their homeworld of Ferenginar has a thin atmosphere, and in time the Ferengi ears grew larger to better receive sound waves. The lobes are very receptive to touch as well, and fondling them, termed oo-mox, is pleasurable to most Ferengi males. The ears also have fine hairs on them, which with age grow to be lengthy and even shaggy. Hearing is undoubtedly the finest tuned sense of a Ferengi, and the ears unmistakably symbolize their innate "Ferenginess". One who has the "lobes" for something is marked out as gifted.

Although not a physical trait, the Ferengi are sexist in the extreme. The males do not allow their females the honor of clothing. Interestingly, Ferengi males often find human females very attractive. Ferengi consider pregnancy to be a rental, with the father being termed the lessee.

As noted above, Betazoids and other telepaths and empaths are incapable of reading Ferengi minds. This is likely due to the unusual four-lobed design of Ferengi brains. Dopterians, whose brains are structurally similar to those of the Ferengi, are similarly unreadable by Betazoids.

Ferengi Eating Habits

Ferengis delight in worms and various insects, preferably alive and squirming. The one caveat is, insects must come from Ferenginar, or it isn't food at all. Their small and sharp teeth make them efficient eaters. When young Ferengi need to sharpen dull teeth they use latinum tooth-sharpeners or chew-sticks.

Ferengi Commerce

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition The Ferengi society was founded on the principles of capitalism and chauvinism combined. Though reasonably advanced in technology, they live for the accumulation of profit, whatever the means of acquiring it. Their whole race lives by the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, a compilation of the proven methods for earning profit. After all, as ROA # 18 puts it: A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all. Never mind leaving all the rest to lie in the gutter when you're through stepping on them. ROA # 212 states quite explicitly: Employees are the rungs on the ladder to success. Don't hesitate to step on them.In fact quite a few of the Rules of Acquisition endorse such disregard for sentiment or compassion when it comes to making profit. As ROA # 21 warns: Never place friendship above profit.

Ferengi culture finds the concept of organized labor to be abhorrent, since such things can interfere with the exploitation of workers. Similarly, Ferengi labor contracts never provide for sick leave, vacations, or paid overtime for employees. Ferengi consider the sanctity of a contract to be a cornerstone of their civilization. Breaking a contract is unthinkable, and will generally result in the offender having his Ferengi business license revoked and all of his assets seized, and him becoming a pariah in Ferengi society.

Ferengi Family Life

Capitalism aside, Ferengis are a sexist society. The Ferengi male views his female as property not to be shared nor exposed to the public. Females are not allowed an article of clothing, earning of profit, traveling, looking or speaking to strangers. They are kept house-bound, uneducated, and wholly dependent on their male counterparts. It is illegal for Ferengi females to earn profit, or to quote from the Rules of Acquisition.

Another demeaning practice females are subjected to is chewing food for the males. This inbred sexism is sanctioned in ROA # 94: Females and finances don't mix, and # 139: Wives serve, brothers inherit. Even so, a Ferengi regards his mother with affection, often taking comfort in laying his head in her lap and defending her honor against the taunts of mean-spirited playmates.

Small nuclear families consisting of the father, mother, and children make up the family structure of Ferengi society. Grandparents and cousins do not live within the same household. The father figure is the sole bread-earner, so his position is supreme in the house. Ferengi marriages are male-oriented, with a string of Latinum Dances, Bridal Auctions, and of course the scantily clad bride to mark the event.

The total enslavement of the female population seems to come quite naturally to the males, and they even attribute their family harmony to such a culture.

Ferengi Government

In their government, the Ferengi are as openly corrupt as they are in their daily life. The Tower of Commerce on Ferenginar, the tallest building within the Ferengi Alliance, is the bastion of profit-taking and scheming. Going up the tower in an elevator will cost seven slips of latinum. Talking to the front desk will mean another slip. Standing, sitting, coming, going, the Tower absolutely swallows latinum with unparalleled voracity. Housed within the Tower of Commerce is the headquarters of the Ferengi Commerce Authority (FCA), the most powerful single organization within the Alliance. It is the terror of the land, as is has jurisdiction over every aspect of a Ferengi's profit and property. Every Ferengi must submit a yearly statement listing all the profits earned that year. Most Ferengi conveniently "forget" to put a few items on the list, and that is where the Ferengi FCA personnel come in. Registered Liquidators are sent in to investigate charges of misreported profits, and if evidence is found, or the bribe insufficient, all the property and holdings will be summarily liquidated.

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (open) The Ferengi originate from the planet Ferenginar, though they populate many others in the nearby Sectors. The Ferengi civilization was over ten thousand years old before the squabbling Ferengi-populated planets finally united to form the Ferengi Alliance, their present governing system. By the 2300's (Earth Calendar), Ferengi had acquired warp drive technology and could engage in interstellar travels.

First Contact

The Federation knew very little of the Ferengi Alliance until First Contact was made in 2364 at the planet Delphi Ardu. The Ferengi encountered by the away-team of the Enterprise-D wielded stunning whips, snarled viciously, hissed incomprehensible remarks, and was quite unsociable. However, though hostile at first, Ferengi soon realized the market potential the Federation had to offer (to quote ROA # 75: Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum), and many have established businesses on Federation planets and starbases.

In fact, the author of these pages, Galex of Ferenginar, maintains Galex's Entertainment Complex on the Plaza Royale, Deck 4, of the ISS Reciprocity, exploring the Gamma Quadrant. (Shameless plug.)

The Ferengi Alliance

The Ferengi are not members of the Federation. Instead, the Ferengi are arranged in a loose Alliance dominated by various Trade Agreements. As a whole, the Alliance is considered neutral, with no affiliation to any other political power in the Galaxy.

The Ferengi Commerce Authority, headquartered in the Tower of Commerce on Ferenginar, and headed by the Grand Nagus himself, controls all of the various Trade Agreements and binding Contracts between various Ferengi outposts and the other worlds of the galaxy. This supreme power is not without its traditional Ferengi corruption and grafts.