antedating "donkey"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 17 13:47:18 UTC 2013

OED: 1785.

Despite the presence of an "Ass," the "Dunkey" in question is actually a
hog. Presumably it's a Scottish hog, as "Dunky" is attested in the 1750s as
a nickname for "Duncan."

1774 _The Brutes of Cam; or the Ass's Triumph over Liberty_ (London: n.p.)
10: The Ass depos'd, the Consul weds a sow;/ From whence, or where, it
matters not, nor how; /Whether a Dunkey or of English breed:/ We'll leave
him to his sty and so proceed.

SWAG: "Donkeys" originally referred to Scottish asses only.


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