"donkey" Definition

Definitions for the word "donkey" from multiple English dictionaries.

1. n.
(pl. -s) 1 domestic ass. 2 colloq. Stupid person. [perhaps from duncan: cf. *neddy]
Source: Oxford English Dictionary, 1884
2. slang
“tuppence more and up goes the DONKEY,” a vulgar street phrase for extracting as much money as possible before performing any task. The phrase had its origin with a travelling showman, the finale of whose performance was the hoisting of a DONKEY on a pole or ladder; but this consummation was never arrived at unless the required amount was first paid up, and “tuppence more” was generally the sum demanded.
Source: The Slang Dictionary, 1864
3. slang
in printers’ slang, means a compositor. In the days before steam machinery was invented, the men who worked at press—the pressmen—were so dirty and drunken a body that they earned the name of pigs. In revenge, and for no reason that can be discovered, they christened the compositors DONKEYS.
Source: The Slang Dictionary, 1864

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