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Troll vs. Troller: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 7, 2023
A troll is someone who posts inflammatory content online, while a troller is one who trolls or the act of trolling itself.

Key Differences

The terms "troll" and "troller" both relate to the act of deliberately provoking or upsetting others online, but they occupy slightly different niches in internet vernacular. A "troll" is the more commonly used term, referring to both the act and the actor – the person who makes comments or posts designed to annoy or anger. On the other hand, "troller" is less common and is typically used to describe someone who is engaging in the action of trolling, putting emphasis on their continuous or active role in the process of provocation.
"Troll" can function as both a noun and a verb, thereby having a broader usage in language. As a noun, it identifies the person engaging in the disruptive behavior, such as in "Don't feed the troll," advising against engaging with such provocateurs. As a verb, it describes the act itself: "He likes to troll forums." "Troller," however, is strictly a noun, focusing on the identity of the person perpetrating the trolling actions, and is not used as a verb.
The connotations of "troll" and "troller" can differ slightly, with "troll" being the more established term that carries a specific cultural understanding within online communities. It's recognized as a part of the internet lexicon and is widely understood. "Troller," while understood, is less formal and often used in a more playful or ironic sense, perhaps to mock or mimic the behavior it describes, as in "She’s acting like a classic troller on social media."
Historically, "troll" has deep roots in internet culture, evolving from early forum and Usenet interactions to a recognized behavior across various social platforms. "Troller" seems to be a derivative that emerged later, possibly as an internet slang adaptation that personifies the action in a character, suggesting someone who makes a habit or hobby out of trolling activities.
In terms of linguistic style, "troll" is the term of choice in formal discussions of online behavior, often used in academic and professional analyses of social media interactions. "Troller" has a more colloquial feel, and you might encounter it in casual conversations or in comments where the speaker is adopting a more conversational tone. The use of "troll" thus signals a more standardized language, whereas "troller" might be seen as a more casual or even idiosyncratic use of internet jargon.

Comparison Chart


Someone who posts disruptive content online; a mythical creature
A person who trolls, less commonly used


Broadly used in internet slang
Rarely used, can be considered nonstandard

Folklore Meaning

A mythical creature
Not applicable


Can refer to the act itself ("to troll")
Emphasizes the agent of the action


Well-established in online and folklore contexts
Primarily associated with internet culture

Troll and Troller Definitions


To fish by trailing a baited line.
They spent the day trolling the lake for pike.


A person who operates a trolling motor.
As a troller, he knew the best spots in the lake.


A mythical, ugly creature from folklore.
The bridge was home to a fearsome troll.


A vessel used for trolling in fishing.
The fishermen took out their troller early in the morning.


To make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.
She would troll celebrities on Twitter.


A person who engages in trolling (internet).
The troller was banned for his comments.


An internet user who posts inflammatory content.
He became a known troll in online forums.


Colloquial for a patrol car in law enforcement.
The troller parked outside the building as a deterrent.


To wander around or lead one along.
He was trolling the streets looking for his lost dog.


A person who purposely stirs up trouble online.
A persistent troller can disrupt any online community.


To fish for by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat.


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 fish in by trailing a baited line
Troll the lake for bass.


What is an internet troll?

An internet troll is someone who posts provocative or off-topic messages online.

Can the word troll refer to a creature?

Yes, in folklore, a troll is a mythical, often unpleasant being.

How do you handle a troll online?

The best way to handle an online troll is often to ignore them and not engage with the inflammatory content.

What does a troller do?

A troller engages in the act of trolling or provoking others online.

Are trolls always malicious?

While trolls are often disruptive, some may not intend real harm but seek attention.

Does troller have a meaning outside of the internet?

Yes, it can refer to someone who fishes by trolling or a type of fishing boat.

Is troller used in any official capacity?

It's not commonly used in formal contexts and is mostly seen in colloquial or internet-specific language.

Is being a troller illegal?

Trolling itself isn’t illegal, but certain actions, like cyberbullying or harassment, can be.

Do all social media platforms have trolls?

Most social media platforms have experienced issues with trolls at some point.

Is troller a recognized term in English?

Troller is less recognized and often seen as a nonstandard term for someone who trolls.

Can companies be affected by trolls?

Yes, companies can be targeted by trolls who can affect their online presence.

Can you be a troller in a positive way?

The term is generally associated with negative behavior and is not used positively.

Is troller a new word?

It’s a relatively new and less common term compared to troll.

Is there a way to prevent trolling?

Moderation and strict community guidelines can help prevent trolling.

Are there laws against trolling?

Depending on the country, there may be laws against cyberbullying or online harassment.

How can one become a professional troller?

Professional trolling is not a recognized profession and is not advisable as a pursuit.

Can trolling be automated?

Yes, with the rise of bots, trolling can also be automated and programmed.

Do trolls only target individuals?

Trolls can target individuals, groups, or even entire communities.

Are trolls a common problem in online gaming?

Yes, trolls are known to disrupt online gaming communities frequently.

What's the verb form of troll?

The verb form is "to troll," meaning the act of making inflammatory posts online.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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