Moke (slang)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moke is a term used in the British Isles as slang for "donkey".[1] In Australia it refers to a nag or inferior horse,[1] and is employed by residents of the Hawaiian Islands in similar fashion as the British to derogatorily describe segments of the local Polynesian population. In practice, the word "moke" is similar to "redneck", as it is only used to describe a certain personality type, instead of an entire ethnic group.[2]

Albanian postage stamp depicting Equus asinus (Donkey)

In literature[edit]

Later portrayals include W. S. Merwin's The Folding Cliffs,[3] and Paul Theroux's Hotel Honolulu.[4]

Also of note is the reference in Captain Joshua Slocum's Voyage of the Liberdade,[5] where the term refers to a native of the Bahamas.

J. R. R. Tolkien uses the word in the poem "Perry the Winkle;" e.g., "then all the people went with a will, by pony, cart, or moke".[6][better source needed]

Also see[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Definition of MOKE". Merriam Dictionary. Retrieved 2022-11-24.
  2. ^ "Eye of Hawaii - Pidgin, The Unofficial Language of Hawaii". Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ Merwin, W. S. The Folding Cliffs. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Press, 2001.
  4. ^ Theroux, Paul. Hotel Honolulu. Boston: Mariner Books, 2001.
  5. ^ Slocum, Captain Joshua. Voyage of the Liberdade. New York: Dover Publications, 1998.
  6. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. "Perry Guiños (poem, with Spanish translation)". Retrieved 2022-09-15.