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donkey

donkey the donkey was used as a beast of burden, and traditionally taken as a type of stupidity. In the story of Balaam, the diviner's falsity is emphasized by the fact that he is unable to see the divine messenger that is visible even to his donkey. (See also in this context ass in a lion's skin, Buridan's ass.)

A donkey, representing the deliberate eschewing of a horse that might have symbolized martial and worldly power, was the animal on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

The word was originally pronounced to rhyme with monkey, and may come from dun ‘dull greyish-brown’, or from the given name Duncan.
donkeys' years an informal expression for a very long time, recorded from the early 20th century, and with punning allusion to the length of a donkey's ears.

See also lions led by donkeys.

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donkey

don·key / ˈdôngkē; ˈdäng-/ • n. (pl. -eys) 1. a domesticated hoofed mammal (Equus asinus) of the horse family with long ears and a braying call, used as a beast of burden; an ass. 2. inf. a stupid or foolish person. PHRASES: donkey's years inf. a very long time.

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donkey

donkey XVIII. In early use pronounced so as to rhyme with monkey, whence the proposed derivs. from DUN 1 and from the proper name Duncan (cf. dicky, neddy).

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donkey

donkey Domesticated ass, used by humans since well before 3000 bc. Crossed with a horse it produces a mule.

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donkey

donkey: see ass.

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donkey

donkeybrickie, Dickie, hickey, icky, mickey, Nicky, picky, quickie, rickey, Rikki, sickie, sticky, tricky, Vicky •milky, silky, Wilkie •Chinky, dinky, Helsinki, inky, Kinki, kinky, minke, pinkie, pinky, slinky, stinky, stotinki •frisky, risky, whisky •Dzerzhinsky, Kandinsky, kolinsky, Nijinsky, Stravinsky •doohickey • smart-alecky • garlicky •colicky • gimmicky • panicky • finicky •plasticky •crikey, Nike, psyche, spiky •choccy, cocky, flocky, gnocchi, hockey, jockey, oche, pocky, rocky, schlocky, stocky •conchae, donkey, honky, shonky, wonky •Brodsky •Malinowski, Minkowski, Stokowski, Tchaikovsky •Chomsky • Trotsky • droshky •jabberwocky •balky, chalky, corky, gawky, Gorky, Milwaukee, pawky, porky, talkie, walkie-talkie •Sikorsky • Mussorgsky

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