Definition: Sacred tenets of behavior/business created by the Ferengi (an alien species) on the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The Ferengi were extremely profit motivated; Ferengi children were required to memorize 285 "Rules of Acquisition" as part of their general education to become consummate entrepreneurs.
(For the geeks: The Rules first appeared on episode No. 11, The Nagus. Historically, the earliest Rule of Acquisition was penned by the Grand Nagus Gint. The Ferengi also had a salvage code which stated that anything found abandoned was up for grabs. The Rules of Acquisition were created by writer Ira Steven Behr. )
Some of the Rules are just plain silly. Others are unethical and not recommended by Work Iz War (although you've probably seen examples of them in practice). Most were never shared with viewers. (Those that were are below.) But there are some clever and useful tenets here that are worth remembering. See if you can spot them:
Rule 1: Once you have their money, you never give it back.
Rule 9: Opportunity plus instinct equals profit.
Rule 13: Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.
Rule 16: A deal is a deal ...until a better one comes along.
Rule 18: A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all.
Rule 19: Satisfaction is not guaranteed.
Rule 21: Never place friendship before profit.
Rule 27: There's nothing more dangerous than an honest businessman.
Rule 31: Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother.
Rule 33: It never hurts to suck up to the boss.
Rule 34: War is good for business.
Rule 35: Peace is good for business.
Rule 48: The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
Rule 52: Never ask when you can take.
Rule 60: Keep your lies consistent.
Rule 82: The flimsier the product, the higher the price.
Rule 89: Ask not what your profits can do for you; ask what you can do for your profits.
Rule 94: Females and finances don't mix.
Rule 104: Faith moves mountains of inventory.
Rule 109: Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.
Rule 111: Treat people in your debt like family - exploit them.
Rule 121: Everything is for sale, including friendship.
Rule 162: Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit.
Rule 177: Know your enemies...but do business with them always.
Rule 190: Hear all; trust nothing.
Rule 192: Never cheat a Klingon unless you're sure you can get away with it.
Rule 208: Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than the question is an answer.
Rule 211: Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success--don't hesitate to step on them.
Rule 217: You can't free a fish from water.
Rule 242: More is good...all is better.
Rule 261: A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience.
Rule 263: Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum.
Rule 266: When in doubt, lie.
Rule 284: Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi.
Rule 285: No good deed ever goes unpunished.*
*Someone was reading their Burroughs.