March 31, 2015



Great humour course makers, starting the travel skill and the first word that appears is donkey ^^


Is it ever used as an insult?


Yes, of course. In Turkish so many animals have certain figurative meanings. "Eşek" is one of them. It is an insult for someone who has improper behaviours.


Maybe I shouldn't walk into this, but I suppose better that I do it than someone else. So here it goes. The word donkey isn't used very often as a word of insult in American English. However, synonyms for donkey do include those that are used as insults. I won't list all of the synonyms here, but you can see a list here. Keep in mind that at least one or two of them could be considered vulgar or offensive, so I advise you to use them with caution. To be safe, I'd stick with donkey.

Also, the donkey is the animal used to represent the Democratic Party in the United States; an elephant represents the Republican Party. Nevertheless, politics is civil enough in America that few, if any, resort to name calling with use of the words "donkey" or "elephant," although you may see a political cartoon used with those animals from time to time and depending on the political leanings of the cartoonist, an insult may be, indeed, be intended.


Interesting, I would also add that "eşec" (pronounced exactly the same) means "failure" in Romanian and can also be used as an insult like "You're a failure". It most likely has been borrowed from Turkish and the meaning of "donkey" disappeared over time and became "failure".


It seems to me just a coincidence since there is the French word "échec" which has the same pronunciation and meaning as in Romanian. There is also the verb "échouer" which means "to fail" in French.


Well, I am certain many Republicans in this country would find your educational post quite amusing. Thank you for sharing it with us ... Republican, Democrat, Independent, and/or Rebel alike.


Wow...great interpreation


Yes, there is the expression "Eşek eşekler", meaning "donkey of donkeys" :-)


Someone called? :-D


It can mean "Donkeys who are donkeys"... :)


I mean, I guess you could call someone a donkey and it be an insult. It isn't very common though :)


So it's not a thing.


My family (who are cypriot turks) use esek as an insult all the time lol




Bende kıbrıslı bir Türküm. I am also a Turkish Cypriot.

Your comment is the same as mine.

I am now following you on Duo. Please can I have your permission to do so?

Thank you.

^ & lingot


I love this word because in Sicilian dialect, which is different from Italian, "donkey" sounds very similar. I bet it's a loan word from Arabic!


In Russian we have a word 'ishak', it mean 'donkey' of course) one more loan word)


More looks like a loanword from Tatar: there it's işäk, as far as I know, much closer to Russian ишак.

Still generally you are right, the Turkic influence is large and long in Russian.


Although something important to remember is that Tartar and Turkish are closely related :D "Eşek" and "işäk" come from the same place linguistically.


Still different Turkic subgroups — the Oghuz and the Kipchak :)


This is actually from old Turkic. Maybe Arabic got it from Turkish back in the Ottoman times :)


Than more I study Turkish than more I understand how much turkic and arabic words we have in Russian. Amazing!


Actually, "donkey" in Arabic is "حِمَارْ" "Ḥimar". That's the common word used to refer to it (in Arabic "fuṣḥa", almost every single animal has a plethora of names). Th other, impossible to pronounce, names are not even similar to "eşek" :)


What is sicilian dislect ?


In Turkish soaps I noticed people call others that sometimes. Usually to their face and with a teasing tone! What does it mean? Is it an insult? Or an endearing term?


If someone called me a donkey in any language, I don't think I would be too happy, Turkish included :D It is imaginable that someone would teasingly call someone this, but it definitely is not a normal nickname. You might be hearing derivations of "eş" though, which means "spouse"


Even the subtitles translate it as donkey! Probably teasing though!


It is a derogatory addressing often for person who has lack of proper attitude.


Oh really! By bad you mean uncivilized or rude, right?


Yes. Also sometimes just "stupid".


Now I get it. It has the same use in Arabic (Donkey meaning stupid or with improper attitude! Thanks.


At is used as a poetic word for horse in Greek, ati, but not eşek. Selections! :)


Eşek and ışık had me in tangles for sometime but this nice detailed discussion and also in another thread I think ive finally nailed the two down to their meanings and they won't be constantly changing places in my memory cells any more. Thanks all.


Arkadaşim eş Arkadaşim şek Arkadaşim eşek!!

Something I learned in my Turkish primary school lol XD


Growing up in Turkey in the 1960s and 70s, I understood that calling someone "son of a donkey" was the worst insult ever.


My grandmother always said that "eşek kafalı" was a bad insult


We say خر orالاغ in persian . Almost always is insulting or for kidding .




Turkish Cypriots say:

"Domuz insan" for a stubborn person & an insult which is very rude.

Duo does not teach this word "domuz" - Pig (noun)

Please forgive me. As a secular Turk, I love bacon sandwiches & bacon rolls.

Thank you.


Said with venom, was very pleasing

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