The edit summary here says:

cleaned up a bit, removed the trollpoking.

I'm certain removing trollpoking is referring to the removal of:

This answer is going to be deleted as off-topic, isn't it? ^_^

and I know what troll(ing) is.

But what does trollpoking mean?

  • Without at least one other example of this word I don't think we can answer this question. You would have to ask the author of the example what they meant.
    – MrHen
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 22:00

4 Answers 4


As the author of that example, and as one who has no recollection of the incident whatsoever, I will admit that I am amused by this. I did find the answers here enlightening, but @IconDaemon was closest:

Trollpoking, or poking the troll, is along the lines of "Don't feed the troll", but with a stick. Y'know, like poking a sleeping bear.

Basically, (if I recall correctly) I was referring to the poster's attempt to get a rise out of potential trolls.
Maybe it was kind of pre-emptive trollfeeding, because first you have to climb under the bridge and wake them up (by poking them with a stick?).

In all honesty - I did not really give much thought to the term, nor did I think it already existed or was familiar to anyone, just that the intent would be clear (and having asked a few others in that community, it seems it was - I guess it depends on having a shared culture, as pathetic as it may be....). Kind of surprised it made it here... :-)

Colloquially, I do tend to force-subjugate words, even when this is unexpected. Sometimes I even verb them.


When I trollpoke, or 'poke the troll,' I'm responding to the logical absurdity and mental instability of fellow posters in the comments section of most websites on the planet, especially those of the extreme right or left political persuasion.

In essence, I'm pushing the troll's outrage button(s) with keywords or phrases that will incite a vituperative counter-response. I do this basically to get a laugh and hone my rapier-sharp rhetorical weaponry. Almost all of the time merely stating the facts, backed up by evidence, suffices to blow somebody's gasket. (Chortle)


"Trollpoking" is a troublesome word, and it doesn't means what it seems to mean.

In angling, which is the original source of "trolling", you dangle bait as you move it through the water (to simulate movement of live prey), to see what will hit on it. It is deceitful, since the goal is not to feed the target of trolling, but to prey on it.

Poking trolls seems nothing more nor less than trolling, in and of itself. In online fora, trolls have no greater purpose than to incite vicious exchanges, and in their most pure form, don't really care about the argument they incite on its own merits, but merely delight in the resultant carnage (in other words, they are deceitful). The respondents of the trolling cannot be, by definition, trolls. The are, perhaps, dupes. The trolls are inciters, and a trollpoker is nothing more nor less than a troll.

My mom really disliked the term "Ma" as pertaining to "mother", and if my brother or I called her "Ma" she would always respond "Don't call me 'Ma'!" In fact, this was so reliable that we would do it deliberately just to hear her say it. In short, we were "trolling". It went like this, one time:

  • Me: Hi, Ma!
  • She: Don't call me 'Ma'!
  • Me: You know I only do it so I can hear you say that, don't you?
  • She: Yes, I know. But don't call me 'Ma'!

Gosh, I sure miss her. :-(

  • I've collected two downvotes on this so far, including one that came in two years after I posted my answer. I can only assume that the downers are trolls, and are offended at my calling trolls deceitful. Suck it up boyos, cuz I don't care! Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 0:25

Poke is used as an internet term to mean reach out and touch somebody (virtually). It has become widely used thanks to Facebook, and is often used in online chat forums simply to invoke a response to see if anybody is listening. A user can 'poke' without actually having to send any content.

Trolling is the act of upsetting the original discussion of a forum thread, either by inciting emotional responses or sidetracking the discussion topic. It can be intentional or unintentional.

I found relatively few hits returned on a search for trollpok*, with most being in online forums. The general context of these leads me to think (note - opinion only!) trollpoking means to test the waters as a troll, in order to see if you will get a desired response. So it would generally be the initial post by a would-be troll to a forum thread, to see if anybody takes the bait. If the desired response is met, let the trolling begin.

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