Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

TROLL

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

TROLL

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:46 am

• troll •


Pronunciation: trol • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To fish by pulling a line through the water. 2. To try to lure or incite someone by passing something where they can see it. 3. (Obsolete) To sing in the manner of a round or simply merrily.

Notes: We have reduced the 14 meanings of today's Good Word to the three central ones in the Oxford English Dictionary. Most of this word's meanings are obsolete, like No. 3 above, and as you can see from the three we selected, they are quite disparate.

In Play: About the only time you will hear the third meaning of this word is when you (or someone else) is singing the Christmas carol, Deck the Halls:

"Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la la la la la la la
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol
Fa la la la la la la la la."

Otherwise, you will hear it used in its second meaning: "Hackers troll the Internet looking for computers they can crack into."

Word History: Today's Good Word's origin is as mysterious as the disparity of its meanings. It can be traced back only as far as two Old French words, troller "to go hunting" and trôler "to meander, wander about". The latter may have originated in Germanic trollen "to roll", but the two later merged and finally disappeared from most dialects. You can see how the senses of the French words might be related to the first two meanings of today's word, but where the third meaning came from is anybody's guess. The verb has no relation to the noun troll, which was borrowed from Norwegian. (Let us all troll a melody of Yuletide thanksgiving to Peggy Nielsen for suggesting this elderly member of the English vocabulary for today's Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3487
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: TROLL

Postby wurdpurrson » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:29 am

Did the Good Doctor ignore the (proper) noun deliberately? Trolls have been around for a long time in mythic and folk tales, as have dwarves, elven folk and others. Or are we all too supersaturated with (and tired of) such creatures nowadays?
wurdpurrson
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:43 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: TROLL

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:25 pm

I thought the same, but the dictionary shows different words entirely, with the noun coming from Scandanavia. What has always puzzled me is all the "synonyms" of various mythological critters. I suppose most of them just evolved separately in different cultures.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2308
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: TROLL

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Ditto!
Is it true they live under bridges?????
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3424
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: TROLL

Postby David Myer » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:53 am

You haven't mentioned the similarity in meaning and in sound between troll and trawl. They are surely related?

And troll in the singing sense is surely related to trill?

Ahh, relations and christmas...
David Myer
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: TROLL

Postby wurdpurrson » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:45 am

Luke, there is at least one troll who lives under the bridge, in the Fremont district of Seattle - he's rather large, one-eyed and quite impressive. Not too far away from where he lurks is the genuine statue of Lenin that once was in Red Square. Fremont district is a very interesting place...
wurdpurrson
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:43 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: TROLL

Postby MTC » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:49 am

The Norwegian fairy tale The Three Billy Goats Gruff is worth quoting in full. (See text below.) Fairy tales are supposed to be distinguished from legends and myths because they contain a "moral truth." In the Three Billy Goats, the troll learns a lesson about Greed. I wonder, however, what lesson the goats learn, each one saving his own life by putting his brother's life at risk?

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Norway

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."

On the way up was a bridge over a cascading stream they had to cross; and under the bridge lived a great ugly troll , with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.

So first of all came the youngest Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

"Trip, trap, trip, trap! " went the bridge.

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll .

"Oh, it is only I, the tiniest Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, with such a small voice.

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.

"Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am," said the billy goat. "Wait a bit till the second Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."

"Well, be off with you," said the troll.

A little while after came the second Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap, went the bridge.

"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

"Oh, it's the second Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, who hadn't such a small voice.

"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.

"Oh, no! Don't take me. Wait a little till the big Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."

"Very well! Be off with you," said the troll.

But just then up came the big Billy Goat Gruff .

Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap! went the bridge, for the billy goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.

"Who's that tramping over my bridge?" roared the troll.

"It's I! The big Billy Goat Gruff ," said the billy goat, who had an ugly hoarse voice of his own.

"Now I 'm coming to gobble you up," roared the troll.

Well, come along! I've got two spears,
And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I've got besides two curling-stones,
And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones.

That was what the big billy goat said. And then he flew at the troll, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the cascade, and after that he went up to the hillside. There the billy goats got so fat they were scarcely able to walk home again. And if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why, they're still fat; and so,

Snip, snap, snout.
This tale's told out.

(http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0122e.html)
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1068
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: TROLL

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:27 pm

wurdpurrson wrote:Luke, there is at least one troll who lives under the bridge, in the Fremont district of Seattle - he's rather large, one-eyed and quite impressive. Not too far away from where he lurks is the genuine statue of Lenin that once was in Red Square. Fremont district is a very interesting place...



Lenin and Trolls. Not much difference actually.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3424
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: TROLL

Postby wurdpurrson » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:46 pm

Bingo. I've often thought they each were in good (or at least, in "like") company.
wurdpurrson
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:43 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA

Re: TROLL

Postby Slava » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:54 pm

My favorite source of late, http://www.etymonline.com, has a nice chunk on troll v troll:
troll
late 14c., "to go about, stroll," later (early 15c.) "roll from side to side, trundle," from O.Fr. troller, a hunting term, "wander, to go in quest of game without purpose," from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. trollen "to walk with short steps"), from P.Gmc. *truzlanan. Sense of "sing in a full, rolling voice" (first attested 1570s) and that of "fish with a moving line" (c.1600) are both extended technical applications of the general sense of "roll, trundle," the latter perhaps confused with trail or trawl. Fig. sense of "to draw on as with a moving bait, entice, allure" is from 1560s. Meaning "to cruise in search of sexual encounters" is recorded from 1967, originally in homosexual slang.

troll
"ugly dwarf or giant," 1616, from O.N. troll "giant, fiend, demon." Some speculate that it originally meant "creature that walks clumsily," and derives from P.Gmc. *truzlan, from *truzlanan (see troll (v.)). But it seems to have been a general supernatural word, cf. Swed. trolla "to charm, bewitch;" O.N. trolldomr "witchcraft." The old sagas tell of the troll-bull, a supernatural being in the form of a bull, as well as boar-trolls. There were troll-maidens, troll-wives, and troll-women; the trollman, a magician or wizard, and the troll-drum, used in Lappish magic rites. The word was popularized in Eng. by 19c. antiquarians, but it has been current in the Shetlands and Orkneys since Viking times. The first record of it is from a court document from the Shetlands, regarding a certain Catherine, who, among other things, was accused of "airt and pairt of witchcraft and sorcerie, in hanting and seeing the Trollis ryse out of the kyrk yeard of Hildiswick." Originally conceived as a race of giants, they have suffered the same fate as the Celtic Danann and are now regarded in Denmark and Sweden as dwarfs and imps supposed to live in caves or under the ground.


The Internet has also given us new meanings, related to the older ones, but applied in modern ways to modern people.

Trawl does not seem to be related, other than by error.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
User avatar
Slava
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 4592
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests