Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Does term "Troll" come from "trolling for ..." ?


I always assumed the term TROLL (as in "don't feed the troll") referred to the mythical characters (or the AD&D regenerating, hard to kill variety :-).

I just realized the other day that it probably evolved from "trolling" as in "fishing" or "patrolling"

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=troll

To fish for by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat.
To fish in by trailing a baited line: troll the lake for bass.
To trail (a baited line) in fishing.
Slang. To patrol (an area) in search for someone or something: “ [Criminals] troll bus stations for young runaways” (Pete Axthelm).

Mr. Analogy
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Yup.

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=57819&ixReplies=29

Trying to be a nice guy.
Sunday, July 18, 2004

yeah, except that the origins of that word in English are the word trawl, as in a trawler, which is a large fishing vessel that drags a net behind it as it sails along.

John Q Tester
Monday, July 19, 2004

Yeah, I agree with John, the word in English is "trawl", when you're talking about fishing.

Otherwise the village on the coast where I grew up would have had lots of trollers moored up on the quay, not trawlers.

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, July 19, 2004

Trolling and trawling ar two different methods

+=
Monday, July 19, 2004

-----"Yeah, I agree with John, the word in English is "trawl", when you're talking about fishing."-----

Err, so what do the Americans speak then?

Stephen Jones
Monday, July 19, 2004

That's "'are' two different fishing methods".

+=
Monday, July 19, 2004

"Err, so what do the Americans speak then?".

Everyone knows that Americans speak American English, not English.

They are very different, as I would expect if I actually was the Professor Steve Jones, rather than just me (see Joel Book thread).

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, July 19, 2004

It is really quite an important difference. I'm going to try to avoid confusion by saying that the following statement is in English, of the type they speak in Great Britain.

"American English is to English what American football is to football, less skillful, more violent, and they need a non-American to get the difficult bits right."

I think I got that right. No offence to anyone. It's not a bad language (American), it's just not English. :-)

John Q Tester
Monday, July 19, 2004

Fairly appropriate comments for a thread on trolls.

Stephen Jones
Monday, July 19, 2004

""American English is to English what American football is to football, less skillful, more violent, and they need a non-American to get the difficult bits right.""

Without the Americans, the British would probably be speaking German.

Mr. Analogy
Monday, July 19, 2004

How do you figure?

Matthew Lock
Monday, July 19, 2004

What do the Native Americans have to do with Germany ?

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, July 19, 2004

Man, you kids don't know your history.

ref. The Jargon File
http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/troll.html

old_timer
Monday, July 19, 2004

Mr Analogy  - It would be more accurate to say that if it hadn't been for the Poles & the Czechs Britain would be speaking German.  They formed a large proportion of the RAF fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain (July-Sept 1940) and the Blitz (Sept 1940-May 1941).

a cynic writes...
Monday, July 19, 2004

Again, you kids don't study history. It was primarily the USSR that defeated Nazi Germany. The rest of us were more or less along for the ride.While that was going on, the actions on the eastern front were orders of magnitude greater in terms of men and material.  The battle of Brittain was a sideshow compared to the Russian and Ukrainian campaigns. Polish and Czeck pilots became available to the RAF only because their armies had already been obliterated.

old_timer
Monday, July 19, 2004

Sideshow agreed - but just a tad important from the perspective of someone from the East End ;-) and since Operation  Sealion was abandoned in Oct 1940 I think the point still stands. 

a cynic writes...
Monday, July 19, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home