Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Donkey's Years

Olly uses a phrase... Donkey's Ages... which appears to be a hybrid of the phrase... Donkey's Years - I find it funny and thought I'd find out about it:
[Q] From Jess Paxton in the USA: “Is there a story behind the phrase donkey’s years?”

[A] It’s a pun on donkey’s ears, they being long. The phrase, meaning a long time, is chiefly in British use, though known in the USA and elsewhere, and was first recorded in 1916 as donkey’s ears (which is why we’re sure about the punning origin). Within ten years or so it is recorded in the modern form. The idea was supported by the belief that donkeys did in fact live a very long time.
world wide worlds

Olly is not convinced... and she backs this up with a quote from Phrases.org.uk...
There's nothing to relate "ears" with the passage of time though and it seems that the "years" version came first.
Anybody got an opinion? Do you use phrases that other people think are silly?

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