A Dictionary On Social Media Trolls (And the Words They Use)

Here’s a handy guide to help you figure out troll favourites like ‘Dhimmi’, ‘sickular’ & feminazi’.

Social Buzz
4 min read
The Internet has a language of its own, and ‘troll language’ is an entire genre in itself. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>/Rhythum Seth)

“Don’t be a dhimmi!”

The Internet has a language of its own, and 'troll language' is an entire genre in itself. If you, like Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, have just joined Twitter, chances are you might be baffled by some words you see on your timeline. But worry not, here’s a handy dictionary of troll slang to help you out.

1. ‘Dhimmi’

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a ‘dhimmi’ is an Arabic word which refers to a “person living in a region overrun by Muslim conquest who was accorded a protected status and allowed to retain his or her original faith.”

On Twitter, however, it is used to refer to anyone who might be seen as defending Muslims or Islam. It is also used to refer to people who refrain from spewing Islamophobic hatred. From Bengalis in India, to Jeremy Corbyn and Emmanuel Macron, they’ve all been called ‘dhimmis’.

2. ‘Lutyens’ Gang’ also known as ‘Lutyens’ Media’ or ‘Lutyens’ Ecosystem’

Sir Edwin Lutyens is an English architect known for planning New Delhi’s central administrative area, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He died in 1944, leaving an indelible mark on the infrastructure and character of Delhi. But lately he’s summoned by TV anchors and social media warriors alike to refer to an elite clique of politicians, journalists, businessmen and socialites. The term ‘Lutyens’ gang’ is often used to discredit Indian media, implying cocktail-swilling journalists hanging out in Lutyens’ Delhi. (Except, they work in Noida.)

Quite contrary to Twitter’s claims, this is not what a ‘Lutyens’ journalist’ does. If anything, this is just a regular reaction to alcohol. (Gif: GIPHY)
Quite contrary to Twitter’s claims, this is not what a ‘Lutyens’ journalist’ does. If anything, this is just a regular reaction to alcohol. (Gif: GIPHY)

3. ‘Azadi Gang’ (Also see, Stone Pelters)

‘Azadi gang’ is used to refer to people who support the movement for freedom in Kashmir. The ‘Azadi gang’ is right on top of the long list of people who are labelled ‘anti-nationals’.

4. ‘Presstitute’

This phrase, a combination ‘press’ and ‘prostitute’, has two irrational premises – both of which can be rectified with the lethal combination of common sense and reading. One, that journalists sell their stories (and integrity) for money [we don’t, although freelancing pushes us close to that edge]. And two, that sex work is demeaning. (It’s 2017, guys. Come on.)

5. ‘Sickular’

When you’re so full of secularism, that you are ‘sick’. It doesn’t matter that the Preamble of the Constitution was amended in 1976 to assert India’s status as a secular nation. Logic is hard to locate on social media.

6. ‘Feminazi’

A combination of feminist and Nazism. Because apparently asking for equality between men and women is akin to asking for a genocide which killed approximately six million Jews.

It is 2017. Stop saying ‘feminazi’. (Gif: GIPHY)
It is 2017. Stop saying ‘feminazi’. (Gif: GIPHY)

7. ‘1984’

Apart from being an excellent book by George Orwell and an accurate prediction of a dystopian future, 1984 is also when anti-Sikh riots took place in Delhi. On Twitter though, ‘1984’ is the epitome of whataboutery, especially when faced a whisper of 2002.

8. ‘Red Pill’ (Also see, ‘Blue Pill’)

The Red Pill started off as a men’s rights online community on Reddit, taking off from the red pill/blue pill premise in Keanu Reeves-starrer The Matrix. In the film, Keanu Reeves is offered a choice.

According to the Guardian, a blue pill, enables you to “believe in whatever you want to believe” and you’re awakened to the harsh reality of the world on swallowing the red pill. According to the Red Pill Theory, this ‘reality’ is that women have an advantage in a sexual relationship and men are the real victims in the world. Being aware of this ‘reality’ means you have swallowed the ‘red pill’. Feminists inevitably are compelled to contend with accusations of ‘blue pill thinking.’

Quick throwback to the ‘red pill’ and ‘blue pill’ scene from <i>The Matrix. </i>(Gif: GIPHY)
Quick throwback to the ‘red pill’ and ‘blue pill’ scene from The Matrix. (Gif: GIPHY)

9. ‘Libtard’

A combination of the words ‘liberal’ and ‘retard,’ and a term which should be offensive to any individual.

10. ‘Pseudo’

A prefix used with words like ‘intellectual’, ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’. A catch-all term to denote everything one has a problem with.

11. ‘Award Wapsi Gang’

Another group of people who feature prominently on the ‘anti-national’ list, the ‘award wapsi’ gang refers to over 50 writers and filmmakers who returned government awards in 2015 to protest rising intolerance in India.

Used on Twitter as a tool to dismiss intellectuals – including teachers, writers, filmmakers and artists.

12. ‘Naxal-JNU Type’

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is one of India’s most prominent varsities. However, on social media, it is a byword for a person who sympathises with Naxals, is an ‘anti-national’, and wants to break up India.

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