Internet Slang Special – People on the internet (TROLL, LURKER, BAE)

Hello and welcome back to “The Slang Podcast” with me Louisa May Adams. This show will give you the chance to hear, understand the origins and meanings of new slang and to use them immediately!

Today we will be exploring more social media slang, in particular how do we identify the sea of people on social media, from trolls to baes…what are they and what do they mean?! Now is your chance to find out so lets get started…

So in formal English a Troll T-R-O-L-L is a character from fairytales, usually an ugly creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf. However online it means something much different or perhaps even worse.

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who who deliberately starts arguments or says offensive things online, for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain. Both the noun and the verb forms of “troll” are associated with Internet discourse. However, the word has also been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. In a sentence we could use the verb like this:

  • “Someone left a nasty comment on my facebook post”
  • “Ignore them, they are just trolling you.’

They are horrible people so watch out for them when you are online! Trolls usually post or respond to comments in a way that will annoy or anger the most people possible. There’s a saying online:

  • “Don’t feed the trolls.”

This means you shouldn’t interact with someone who is “trolling,” since it will only encourage them. You usually find trolls hanging out on forums, but they can be anywhere online, from your Facebook, to the comments section on a news article.

Ok number two, someone who is not as bad as a troll but still seen in a negative light, a lurker spelt L-U-R-K-E-R. This is someone who visits a forum, blog or website often, but doesn’t leave any comments. The word stems from formal english as “to lurk” means to hide just out of sight. A lurker could also be one who never messages on group chats but simply reads. I must admit during busy work times I find myself doing the same on many group chats. The word could be used as so:

  • “On my new blog I really want my lurkers to comment, so I’m going to have a competition!”

Ok last but not least we have bae B-A-E a term of affection for a romantic partner, thought to have come from “baby” or “babe”. In fact “bae”, is an acronym that stands for “before anyone else”.

You will find this word all over social media, especially if you are following a very cringey couple. Ironically and quite unromantically bae in Danish means poop and to worsen things it means “bye” in Icelandic.

That’s our episode of the day, you can find us on our website and from there you can see our transcript and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and many more apps.