|WikiProject Equine||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
Defining the term
This has been checked and confirmed to be from 1911 EB. --DanielCD 20:48, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
- I revised this article today, though retaining DanielCD's work and identifying it as part of the 1911 EB, because the 1911 EB was / is not as accurate as it needs to be for someone to understand what the difference between a jennet and a mule is, and to add the alternate spellings. Lisasmall 07:52, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
British use of Jack/Jenny for male/female donkeys
- The terms jack and jenny are in current british usage. There is at least one British pub called The Jack and Jenny with 2 donkeys on the pub sign and has had this name for at least 37 years (Jack and Jenny, Witham, Essex - now closed as at February 2013. By time of closure, a new sign no longer showed the 2 donkeys)
- See quote below under #Connection between jenny and jennet. It seems likely that Jack and Jenny as a pub name may have referred to people, not donkeys – much like the phrase "John and Jane Doe" – it would be like calling a pub "The Everyman". The donkey sign would be an imaginative illustration of this, much as a draughts board is often used incorrectly for pubs called "The Chequers", and the "Jolly Farmer" is actually shown as jolly on the sign, not as a traditional moaning sour-faced farmer, which is the whole point of the ironic name. Having said all that, yes, jack and jenny are the proper British terms for donkeys, as far as I've ever heard. --Richard New Forest (talk) 15:21, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
The categories for this article were edited a few days ago by an anonymous user to remove cat:donkeys but leaving cat:horses & cat:hybrid equids. Since jennets can be 100% donkey (in the U.S.) or 50% donkey (in the U.K.), cat:donkey should remain. --Lisasmall 01:32, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Connection between jenny and jennet
I can find no source for jenny being derived from jennet, but a very respectable contrary source. The 1930 Oxford English Dictionary says:
Jenny: A female personal name, pet-form or familiar equivalent of Janet (or, by confusion with Jinny or Jeanie, of Jane), and so serving as the feminine of Jack.
Under subdefinition 2, it then says:
Used as a prefix to denote a female animal, as jenny-ass, and especially in names of birds, as jenny-hooper, -howlett, and sometimes loosely applied with reference to sex.
It goes on to give "jenny" as short for "jenny-ass". Other definitions for "jenny" are for things such as spinning jenny where it is used as a pet name for machinery. There's a separate entry for jenny wren along the same lines.
"Jennet" in that dictionary contains no mention of donkeys, hinnies or mules, but sticks to Spanish horses and soldiers.
If "jennet" is indeed used by anyone for a female of anything (which needs demonstrating), it therefore seems likely that it is either a mistake for "jenny", or a mispronunciation or misspelling of "janet". --Richard New Forest (talk) 15:21, 13 December 2007 (UTC)