[Ads-l] to troll =? take the mickey

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jul 12 10:23:59 EDT 2018


> On Jul 12, 2018, at 10:22 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM> wrote:
> 
> Can you explain the Mickey/piss rhyme?  I assume it’s cockney, but I don’t know a word that would naturally follow Mickey and rhymes with piss.

Well, there’s “mouse”, if you ignore the vowel.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Chris Waigl
> Sent: Wednesday 11 July 2018 10:20 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: to troll =? take the mickey
> 
> In the London-centered BrE I was used to while living there, the question
> "are you taking the Mickey" means something like "are you kidding", leaning
> towards "are you fucking with me?" This doesn't quite work with your
> "trolling" sense, though it's otherwise close. (Mickey is of course rhyming
> slang for piss.)
> 
> Chris
> 
> On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 3:42 PM Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> My understanding of “take the mickey/piss out of someone” is to talk in a
>> manner to incite someone to irritation or anger as a generally accepted
>> social ritual for humor. Wikipedia (
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taking_the_piss<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taking_the_piss> <
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taking_the_piss<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taking_the_piss>>) has a more expansive
>> definition.
>> 
>> In AmE, I would be inclined to say “fuck with/play around someone”, though
>> the semantic range seems a little different.
>> 
>> It occurred to me recently that “troll” may be closer to “take the mickey”.
>> 
>> Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/troll#Verb<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/troll#Verb> <
>> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/troll#Verb<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/troll#Verb>>) says: (Internet slang) to
>> provoke, harass or annoy. The OLD (
>> https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/troll<https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/troll> <
>> https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/troll<https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/troll>>) says: Make a
>> deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting
>> someone or eliciting an angry response from them.
>> 
>> Both of those definitions sound like the object of trolling is
>> inflammatory, but there is a usage such as, “I’m just trolling you”,
>> meaning, “I’m just joking around/fucking with you” with a light humorous
>> sense instead of a sinister one.
>> 
>> 1. Urban Dictionary (I stopped at page 10)
>> a. Oni-Unit December 27, 2005
>> https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=3<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=3> <
>> https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=3<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=3>>
>> Not all trolls go to a message board and spam it with flames, racism, and
>> Goatse before getting banned 5 minutes later. Trolling is a hobby in the
>> same vein as prank phone calls, and the true objective of trolling is to be
>> clever and creative in getting a reaction out of the troll victims.
>> 
>> b. BadBoyBubby June 13, 2005
>> https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=7<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=7> <
>> https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=7<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll&page=7>>
>> Trolls are also a source of genuine humour, which depends entirely upon
>> whether the troll is a good or a bad troll. It's usually fairly easy to
>> spot the difference between such actions: a bad troll resorts only to weak
>> uncreative arguments whereas a good troll will create a subtle set of
>> arguments which draw people in with cunning twists to provide a thread of
>> non sequitur humour.
>> 
>> 2. Want You Gone
>> 20 April 2017
>> Chris Brookmyre
>> https://bit.ly/2zy3EfG<https://bit.ly/2zy3EfG> <https://bit.ly/2zy3EfG<https://bit.ly/2zy3EfG>>
>> 'There is no problem. I’m just trolling you, Jack.’
>> Parlabane shakes his head, lets out a laugh despite himself.
>> ‘You really had me there,” he admits.
>> 
>> 3. Dragon Lady: A Gender Swapped LitRPG Adventure
>> 4 January 2018
>> Alyson Belle
>> https://bit.ly/2N8hRlv<https://bit.ly/2N8hRlv> <https://bit.ly/2N8hRlv<https://bit.ly/2N8hRlv>>
>> He laughed and clapped me on the shoulder. “Oh, relax, Goldie. I’m just
>> trolling you all….
>> 
>> Benjamin Barrett
>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
>> 
> 
> 
> --
> Chris Waigl . chris.waigl at gmail.com . chris at lascribe.net
> http://eggcorns.lascribe.net<http://eggcorns.lascribe.net> . http://chryss.eu<http://chryss.eu>
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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