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Glossary

Ass: Technically, this is the term to be used when referring to a member of the genus equus asinus. The hoarseness of its voice, or bray, depends upon two small peculiar cavities situated at the bottom of the larynx. In groups, we refer to a pace of asses.

Donkey: This term is unique to the English language and was probably derived from the Flemish word donnekijn. Most authorities consider that the word comes from the dun (gray-brown) colour and the suffix ‘key’ meaning ‘small’. Thus ‘ a little dun animal’, a ‘dun-key’. In groups, we refer to a herd of donkeys.

Moke: A term for donkey still in use in parts of Great Britain. It was used by the Romano in the region and is a derivation of the Welsh/Romano term, mokhio, meaning ‘ass’.

Burro: In Spanish, the word for ‘donkey’ is ‘burro’.

Jennet or Jenny: This is the name of a female donkey.

Jack: This term refers to a donkey stallion.

Gelding: This is the term used for a gelded donkey stallion.

Mule and Hinny: These terms are used to describe hybrid animals, each having a donkey parent and a horse parent. In 99.9% of cases, mules and hinnies are sterile. When a donkey stallion is bred with a horse mare, the offspring is called a mule. When a horse stallion is bred with a donkey jennet, the offspring is called a hinny. In groups, we refer to a barren of mules.

Molly: This term is used for a female mule.

John: This term is used for a male mule.

Foal: This term is used for a baby donkey or a baby mule.