donkey's years





Why do we say "donkey's years"?

By Vincent, Singapore(14th Dec. 2006).

When you say that someone has been around for "donkey's years", what you are implying is that he/she has been around for a long, long time. The expression is mostly used in informal contexts.

Here are a few examples.

* It's been donkey's years since I talked to Sarita and Garnish.

* The project has been going on for donkey's years.

* Ramjet has been with this company for donkey's years.

The expression seems to suggest that donkeys live for a long time. I don't know how many years a donkey lives, but this expression has nothing to do with the life span of a donkey. What is it that donkeys have that is extremely long? Ears, right? In fact, that's where the expression comes from. The original expression was "donkey's ears" and not "donkey's years"! Makes sense now doesn't it?

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