Mar 29 2012

Donkeys, horses, asses, and mules: part 3

The mascot of the University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University) is the mule, and male athletes there are called mules. However, female athletes are called jennies (the name for a female donkey) instead of mollies (the name for a female mule).

Several years ago they had the mascot redesigned to be more kid-friendly (and, presumably, sales-friendly), because the existing one–a big, red, angry mule–scared children.

see part 1 and part 2

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Mar 27 2012

Quotable: Jenny from Big Fish

“No, it’s logical
if you think like your father.
See, to him,
there’s only two women:
your mother
everyone else.”

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Mar 14 2012

Donkeys, horses, asses, and mules: part 1

For those of you confused about the difference between donkeys, asses, and mules (I assume you can identify horses), this is for you. I hope I get all the terminology right, because each creature gets it own word based on gender, species, parentage, and whether or not it (in the case of males) has been gelded (I guess this is why they don’t use the generic dog and cat term ‘fixed,’ as ‘fixing’ a horse would be quite different than ‘breaking’ it). Female horses are called mares, and male horses that are still able to reproduce are called stallions, and those that have been gelded are called geldings (gelding is a very euphemistic term, in my opinion).

A donkey is the same thing as an ass (Equus asinus, from which we get our word asinine). A male donkey is called a jack. Therefore, a jackass is not just a donkey, but a male donkey. Females are called jennies.

A mule is the offspring of a jackass and a mare. A hinny is the offspring of a jenny and a stallion. Mules may be either gender (males are called johns, females are called mollies), but they are almost always sterile (johns are always sterile, mollies are almost always sterile). Technically a john refers to a gelded mule, but as male mules are always sterile, they are always supposed to be gelded.

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