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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    It is easy for me -a Chinese to understand that foxs are cunning; lions are brave.

    But why is Donkey considered stupid in English? Is donkey really a kind of stupid animal? Thanks!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Actually, it's considered stubborn, not stupid.

    The reputation is that it's hard to make a donkey do what you want it to do; it wants to do what IT wants to do.

    I don't have much personal experience with donkeys, myself.

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Hi Barb_D,

    Thank you for your help. I'm clearer.


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    #4

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    It is easy for me -a Chinese to understand that foxs are cunning; lions are brave.

    But why is Donkey considered stupid in English? Is donkey really a kind of stupid animal? Thanks!
    Anyway, donkeys shouldn't be denigrated. Take a look at these marvellous lines written by G. K Chesteron. The last stanza refers to when a donkey walked into Jerusalem with Jesus Christ on its back:

    THE DONKEY
    When forests walked and fishes flew
    And figs grew upon thorn,
    Some moment when the moon was blood,
    Then, surely, I was born.

    With monstrous head and sickening bray
    And ears like errant wings—
    The devil's walking parody
    Of all four-footed things:

    The battered outlaw of the earth
    Of ancient crooked will;
    Scourge, beat, deride me—I am dumb—
    I keep my secret still.

    Fools! For I also had my hour—
    One far fierce hour and sweet:
    There was a shout about my ears
    And palms before my feet.
    Last edited by naomimalan; 17-Oct-2008 at 07:02. Reason: to delete incorrect historical fact.

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    #5

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Actually, it's considered stubborn, not stupid.
    Well, it is considered stupid in German. Where it may convey a meaning similar to "fool", if directed at a person.

    Whether stubborn or stupid, and it's only a guess, but I suspect is has something to do with the relation between donkeys and horses. Because horses, in comparison to donkeys, may seem to some less stubborn, as well as less stupid. The donkey as a "lesser" horse, so to speak.

    Obviously, this doesn't serve him right. A donkey may not be quite as elegant, as a horse, but this doesn't make it stupid. Nor stubborn, for that matter.

    it wants to do what IT wants to do.
    Sounds more like intelligence in operation, anyway.

  4. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Horses are the most beautiful animal in my eyes and imagination. I love they run in the wild field with their flying mane. They are very intelligent. They have rich emotions.


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    #7

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Horses are the most beautiful animal in my eyes and imagination. I love how/the way they run in the wild field with their flying manes. They are very intelligent. They have rich emotions.
    Aren't they just lovely?

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Hello Anglika,

    Thank you for your correction of my writing. I knew little about most animals in the real life. I grew up in a small city of southern China. Needless to say horses, there was no room for my family to raise animals including dogs when I was a little children. Horses are not usual in the south of China. I just saw them afar in the suburban occasionally, and watched them in some performances of circus.

    I learned them mostly from some novels and films. They have very strong handsome physique. I appreciate they have an unbridled independent nature. They are kind and won't attack human voluntarily if people don't try to hurt them. And they are smart enough to understand people's emotions.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 17-Oct-2008 at 22:25.

  6. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Donkeys are actually highly intelligent (and make good pets for folks who have room for them). I've read stories about people who've adopted donkeys (via a relocation program based at the Grand Canyon) and reported that the creatures actually learned how to open the door to the house and open the refrigerator to help themselves to the food there. And no matter how many times the owner tried to devise a way to keep the donkey outside, the animal would not be deterred and would stubbornly continue his efforts to get inside.

    So donkeys are not only stubborn, they are single-minded and will go to extreme lengths to get what they want, especially when someone indicates "No, you can't have this."

  7. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Why is donkey considered stupid in English?

    Ouisch, thank you for sharing this with me.

    Different countries have their own stereotyped emotions to different animals, though many of us might have found many animals are actually clearer than our imaginations.

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