Donkeys are one of the earth’s most loyal and hardworking animals, but they’re often subjected to teasing and jokes. Most people pride themselves in using the “correct” term – donkey – but in certain circumstances the name “ass” or “jackass” is used. Beyond these jokes and criticisms, however, lies an interesting history of why donkeys are referred to as “asses”; this article seeks to uncover the hidden truth.
1. Assessing the Origin of the Ass
Determining the Starting Point of the Esel
Throughout the centuries, the iconic creature known as the Esel has been confusing us with its enigmatic origins. To truly understand the beginnings of this incredible beast, it is essential to examine the evidence closely and thoughtfully.
First of all, sightings of the Esel may not be the best indicator of its origin. Despite what is popularly believed, many sightings only began occurring in the early 19th century, largely in Europe. This timeframe does not necessarily mean that it was the immediate origin of the Esel. In addition, several Native American tribes had previously reported sightings, which further complicates this particular thread of evidence.
Interestingly enough, some scholars suggest that the Esel may have originated in ancient times. By studying the descriptions of the Esel in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman texts, some believe that the creature has existed for centuries. However, even that particular thread of evidence is still inconclusive.
Finally, no origin story of the iconic Esel would be complete without discussing the many myths associated with it. From its enduring relationship with the moon to its association with wisdom and luck, the Esel has long been a symbol in mythological and spiritual contexts. Again, however, this particular line of evidence is considered inconclusive, making it difficult to conclusively assess the origins of this incredible creature.
2. Is There a Difference Between Donkeys & Asses?
Yes, there is a difference between donkeys and asses. Though the terms are used interchangeably, they are not the same Creature. Let us explore the differences in detail:
- Appearance: Donkeys have longer ears, thicker manes, and broader foreheads than horses. Because of their long ears, they are sometimes referred to as “long ears”. Asses, on the other hand, have relatively short ears, thin manes, and more concave foreheads.
- Size: In general, donkeys are larger than asses and heavier. Donkeys are usually between four and five feet tall, while asses tend to be smaller and lighter, usually between three and four feet tall.
- Temperament: Donkeys tend to be quite calm and even-tempered. They are slow to anger and can be quite trusting and loyal. Asses, on the other hand, can be quite stubborn and difficult to control. They are also more likely to panic and bolt if startled.
- Uses: Donkeys have been used as beasts of burden for centuries and are well known for their strength and stamina. Asses are also used for carrying goods, but they are not as strong as donkeys. They are more often used as companion animals and for recreational riding.
Though both donkeys and asses share certain characteristics, there is a difference between them. If you are looking for an animal to use as a beast of burden, a donkey is probably the better choice. If you want a companion animal, and ass might be a better option.
3. The Evolution of the ‘Ass’
The ass is an animal with a long history. From the time they first appeared on the scene, the adaptable mule has been an integral part of life. They are some of the oldest domesticated animals, providing a much needed mode of transportation in early civilizations.
The ass has gone through many changes over the years. In the olden days, they were the chief work animal, used to help humans survive and thrive in extreme climates. They were also a vital form of transportation in Europe in the 19th century, with many households relying on the mule as their primary mode of transport.
Today’s ass is much different than their ancestors. They are now used primarily for recreation rather than work. They have great stamina and can travel far distances without tiring. There are also many breeds that are specifically bred for riding and show purposes.
Fun fact: Asses are highly intelligent animals. With proper training and handling, these trusty animals can become steady workhorses or gentle riding companions. Some even learn to navigate obstacle courses and become elite show jumpers.
There is no doubt the ass has come a long way from its humble beginnings. They still remain a symbol of strength, endurance, and work ethic that have held strong throughout the ages.
4. What is the ‘Ass’ Characterised By?
The ‘Ass’ character is an element of comic relief, and is a large part of the overall humorous tone. He or she is commonly portrayed as being overly self-confident, loud, and often oblivious to their surroundings. Here are some of the features that ‘Ass’ is characterised by:
- Provoking Situations: ‘Ass’ is known to provoke situations by their exaggerated and often ludicrous behaviour.
- Confrontational Attitude: ‘Ass’ loves to be the centre of attention and will often be confrontational to rival characters, stirring up minor confrontations in the process.
- Hubris: ‘Ass’ will exude hubris by believing they can do or achieve anything, regardless of the situation or difficultly.
- Ignorance: ‘Ass’ is known for their blissful ignorance, not being aware of what is happening around them or not understanding the difference between right and wrong.
Though ‘Ass’ is often seen as a nuisance, they can also be a source of great entertainment. Their ridiculous ideas often result in interesting and humorous outcomes. Even if ‘Ass’ fails at their mission, their misdeeds are often memorable and amusing.
Observation of ‘Ass’ characters can offer a different perspective on reality. Thoughts and feelings that may have never occurred to the audience can be appreciated through ‘Ass’ dysfunctional behaviour. This can help provoke new ideas and possibilities, as well as problem solving skills.
At times, ‘Ass’ can hit close to home for the audience, as there are plenty of elements of human behaviour that can be found in ‘Ass’ characters. It helps to create relatability and reflects the audience’s personal experiences.
5. Donkeys in Mythology and Culture
Seen as both a symbol of humility and stubbornness, donkeys are deeply steeped in both mythology and culture from around the world. For instance, in Greek mythology, donkeys play an important role. Orpheus, a musician and poet, played a lyr option from his lyre to rescue his beloved. He even used a donkey as means of escape. In Hindu mythology, the head of the God Ganesha is seen as an animal head rather than a human one – sometimes interpreted as a donkey.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, from which many major Western cultural figures have come, donkeys feature heavily. It’s said that the donkey was the animal Mary sat on as she carried the infant Jesus for their flight into Egypt. It’s part of what makes a donkey a special and symbolic animal for so many people around the world.
In terms of its use as an animal, the donkey has been common across cultures for a very long time. It’s especially well-suited for both work or transport, thanks to its size and low center of gravity. As such, donkeys can be found in the work of farming, hauling goods, and even as pack animals in some places. In some cultures, this has become commonplace and donkeys a stable part of life.
Another form of cultural usage that features donkeys is in games and toys. Donkeys are often seen in board games, as they were traditionally a key part of parlour games. For decorations and toys, donkeys can often also be seen as caricatures of mythological symbols, such as Ganesha or Dionysus.
- In Greek mythology, donkeys play an important role.
- In the Judeo-Christian tradition, donkeys feature heavily.
- Donkeys have been common across cultures for a very long time.
- Donkeys are often seen in board games, as they were traditionally a key part of parlour games.
6. A Humorous Look at the ‘Ass’
In the world of animals, few animals have the same importance as the donkey. Commonly referred to as the ‘ass’, this hardy animal is used for myriad of tasks.
It is said that the more humble and hardworking the donkey, the bigger its ears. So the bigger the ears, the longer the life of the donkey. That’s why it is said that the most hardworking asses display the biggest ears.
The donkey is renowned for its strength, and it is thanks to this peculiarity that it is used for a variety of tasks. From pulling carts and plowing fields to carrying goods and providing transportation, the donkey is the workhorse of the animal kingdom.
But don’t let the donkey’s hardworking demeanor fool you – it can still kick up its hind legs and play. Yes, the donkey can still rock and roll. Donkeys may not be the most agile animals, but they can be amusing at times. So, if you ever spot a horse trotting around, it may not always be a horse – it could very well be an ass having a boogie!
7. Seeing Asses Everywhere From Hereon Out
Now that we’ve made an ass of ourselves, let’s keep our eyes peeled for more!
- It could be a literal butt, like the one we spotted near the art museum
- It could be a figurative ass, like a difficult boss
- It could even be a clever pun about a derriere
As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as too many asses! So wherever we go, it’s up to us to start seeing them.
A good way to hone our observing skills is to quiz ourselves as we go along. When we’re out at the bookstore, can you find an author with an assonance-based name? Is there a sign in the park that looks like it has a tail? Are there any animals sporting a certain distinct anotomy?
Be on the lookout for asses, and before long you’ll be spotting them at every corner. Then you can proudly proclaim that you are capable of seeing them everywhere from hereon out!
So with all that said, it’s easy to see why these lovable creatures of the wild are commonly referred to as “asses.” The durability of these animals and their willingness to work has greatly influenced their name over the years. Even though the term “ass” may not be the most flattering of nicknames, it stands as a reminder of how much these animals have shaped how we live and work—and for that, they will always be appreciated.