donkey, monkey, honky

Marc Sacks msacks at WORLD.STD.COM
Sat Nov 16 15:55:11 UTC 2002

My wife is the only person I ever knew who pronounces donkey to rhyme
with monkey. She's from the Bronx, so maybe it's a New York City
phenomenon. However, I've known lots of New Yorkers but never heard that
pronunciation from any of them. Then again, the word donkey doesn't come
up in conversation all that often.

Marc Sacks
msacks at

Rudolph C Troike wrote:

>        For me (Southmost Texas), 1 & 3 rhyme with open "o" (transcribed
>dictionary-wise as \aw\ by some listers), while 2 has schwa (I don't do
>wedge -- that's a British pronunciation). However, donkey with a schwa is
>common in at least parts of Ohio (and used to be in Brooklyn).
>        Since honky allegedly came from Bohunk,
>Jim Landau's pronunciation of it with a schwa makes good sense. I could
>never figure out how one got from Bohunk to honkey, when the latter had
>the vowel of "honk". Schwa must have been the original vowel, and the
>pronuciation was influenced by false (folk) association with "honk"
>(unless the regional pronunciation of Bohunk is with an open "o").
>        Rudy
>(Footnote to another thread: on the campus of the University of Texas
>(Austin), there is a statue of Jefferson Davis, President of the
>Confederate States of America, standing with a copy of the US constitution
>open in one hand. The implications are clear.)

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