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Defining the term[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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)

I am going to create Jenny (donkey) in a moment. Will you add this stuff to that article? Thanks! Montanabw(talk) 19:43, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Jennets are so prodigiously swift ... begotten by the wind[edit]

The legend that jennets were bred by the wind was attested to not only by the famous Addison of The Spectator, but also I came across this:

JUSTIN, a contemporary of CLAUDIANUS, introduced the first note of real skepticism into the story. He even went so far as to term it a fable. From his History of the World, Bk. 44, Ch. 3

" Several Authors have affirmed that in Lusitania, near the Banks of the River Tagus, the Mares conceive by the wind. What gave occasion to this fable, is the great Fecundity of the Mares; and the vast Numbers of Horses that are to be seen in Gallicia and Lusitania, where the Jennets are so prodigiously Swift, that 'tis not without some Reason they are said to be begotten by the Wind."

Conway Zirkle (may, 1936). Isis. 25 (1): 96–130.  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help), page 101.

I believe that this legend merits mention, not just as a curiosity, but for what it says it about jennets. TomS TDotO (talk) 17:54, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

The source is not very reliable, and the jennet wasn't a race horse anyway. That said, if you can find additional sources for these claims, and not simply for the Iberian horse in general (Spanish horses were valued, but had many types), I'm open to reconsidering. But who is "the famous Addison" what "Spectator" are you referring to, and if you are referring to Roman sources, those predate the medieval Jennet by quite a bit... Montanabw(talk) 20:10, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I am not saying that jennets are impregnated by the wind. Therefore, I do not need any authorities for that. I am saying that there was folklore, and I cite sources who are reliable for there being that folklore. Joseph Addison wrote in The Spectator (1711). Isis (journal) is a scholarly journal in the history of science. Any questions about the real world of jennets does not refute the world of legends. "Jennets are begotten by the wind" is like "cats have nine lives" or "lemmings leap of cliffs". TomS TDotO (talk) 20:39, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Like I said, find a reliable source for the folklore. Link to your material so it can be independently verified. I am NOT opposed to adding a legends section, it just cannot be synthesized. See, for example, how the myths and legends were handled at Arabian_horse#Legends. There, as you can see, there is an online citation, citations to four respected, authoritative works on the breed, two sources on the history of the horse, and one reference to a religious work, all meticulously cited with all proper parameters. You have one source that is just weird - what is "Isis" is it scanned online anywhere (I presume it must be unless you have back issues). We can work on an appropriate way to insert this stuff. A simpler example of how to do this is at Irish Hobby, though that isn't a myth, just a reference to speed. Montanabw(talk) 23:05, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Err... Isis is a respected scholarly journal. See its JSTOR content here and description here. Here is the article referred to above. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:43, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
The article, not fully cited, has a tidbit taken totally out of context. The article could have been linked, but the quote doesn't really support the point TDot is trying to make without engaging in SYNTH. Montanabw(talk) 21:34, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
When I looked at the "legends" you pointed to, I found several myths and legends. Typically, there were two footnotes for each complex legend, and one for enlargements or variations.
Here is one paragraph:
Another origin tale claims that King Solomon was given a pure Arabian-type mare named Safanad ("the pure") by the Queen of Sheba.[64] A different version says that Solomon gave a stallion, Zad el-Raheb or Zad-el-Rakib ("Gift to the Rider"), to the Banu Azd people when they came to pay tribute to the king. This legendary stallion was said to be faster than the zebra and the gazelle, and every hunt with him was successful, thus when he was put to stud, he became a founding sire of legend.[66]
Note that:
1) This describes two origin tales, one in which Solomon is the receiver, and a second in which he is the giver.
2) There is exactly one footnote for each tale.
3) One of those footnotes, 64, is shared with a previous tale.
4) Neither of the cited sources is online..
So, I would count, being generous, one footnote per tale. If this is your example of well-sourced legends, how did my little legend compare? I had suggested a rather simple tale, no Solomon or Sheba. And I offered two, maybe three sources, and I have hinted at there being another. And, BTW, if that helps, these are available online. TomS TDotO (talk) 01:07, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

The article passed Good Article review by independent reviewers, and before that all the works used were reviewed by multiple editors who all agreed that the hardcopy works were respected sources, at least two different editors had copies of all the books in question, so they could cross-check each other, and some are in google books, though not linked because the hardcopies were used by the editors. Of course one book can cover multiple tales. More to the point, these were reliable secondary sources that discussed legends as such, not a vague reference in passing, synthesized from a primary source. Your edit, on the other hand, looked like this:Spanish jennets were supposed to be bred by the wind.<ref>{{cite journal|quote=Were they, like ''Spanish'' Jennets, to impregnate by the Winds …|journal=[[The Spectator (1711)|The Spectator]]|author=Joseph Addison|authorlink=Joseph Addison|number =127|date=july 26, 1711}}</ref></ref> That edit was very poor because it failed to provide anything like a full citation to the work (and unless you were looking at the original in a museum somewhere, you needed to cite to the work you actually consulted), it was poorly written, cited to a primary source (see WP:PRIMARY) which is discouraged, and did not signal the reader who or why it was a legend, it gave no background, and so on. If you want to add something better, you need to expand, source better, write more than a fragment, and so on. And, not get upset when people explain how to improve. If you can't see or comprehend the difference here, then all I can do is say that I'm leading the horse to water. Drinking is your decision... Montanabw(talk) 03:56, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Especially since the above citation is linked to a satirical letter about the rather airy nature of women's undergarments at the time and has nothing to do with horse legends. Quite a fun read actually. Froggerlaura ribbit 05:10, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, I agree that my suggestion did not pass Good Article review, review by multiple editors, etc., etc. I will try to do that before I would be so bold as to offer a suggestion. TomS TDotO (talk) 06:10, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Suggestions may be offered freely. The "jennets are born of the wind" passage actually originates from the writings of Pliny the Younger:
In Portugall, along the river Tagus, and about Lisbon, certaine it is, that when the West wind bloweth, the mares set up their tailes, and turne them full against it, and so conceive that genitall aire in steed of naturall seed: in such sort, as they become great withall, and quicken in their time, and bring foorth foles as swift as the wind, but they live not above three yeares. Out of the same Spaine, from the parts called Gallicia and Asturia, certaine ambling jennets or nags are bred, which wee call Thieldones: and others of lesse stature and proportion every way, named Asturcones. These horses have a pleasant pace by themselves differing from others. For albeit they bee put to their full pace, a man shall see them set one foot before another so deftly and roundly in order by turnes, that it would doe one good to see it: and hereupon horse-breakers (maisters) have an art by cords to bring an horse to the like amble.
Natural History, Book VIII, Chapter XLII (translation by Philemon Holland, 1601)

As you can see, Pliny mentions jennets specifically after the passage about Portuguese horses that lift their tails to the wind. He calls jennets "ambling", not really in keeping with the wind borne-association but is attributed to him nonetheless. Froggerlaura ribbit 06:47, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you. I would add that your link to the citation of Pliny is John Webster (c. 1580-c.1634) The Duchess of Malfi (1612-13) Act i, scene ii, lines 22-24. Of course, these are not useable, for what is needed is a second-hand source which has been checked over by several readers which says that these lines are, in fact, in that play. Or, rather, meetin other criteria which we can only guess at. But, seriously, thank you. TomS TDotO (talk) 14:05, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Nonsense, TDot. You're just wrong, used an inadequate source out of context to add a sentence fragment to this article and now you waste bandwidth defending your error. Why can't you just drop it, or go find better sources for what you hope to add? Montanabw(talk) 21:34, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

jennet bred by the wind[edit]

Moved this from my talk page, same discussion as above

You recently deleted my mention of the legend that jennets were bred by the wind. ISTM that there must be somewhere that this could be found in Wikipedia. Cats have nine lives is mentioned in the article on cats, lemmings leaping off cliffs, and on and on. I tried to find a catchall category of something like "animal legends", but I was not successful. Let me explain why I want to mention this: I came across a cryptic reference in Cotton Mather's "Christian Philosophy" and spent some time in finding out what he was talking about, so I thought that I could help others who might read about this sort of thing that jennets being impregnated by the wind is what is being mentioned. If you can suggest where I can share this, other on the article on jennet, I would be grateful. TomS TDotO (talk) 12:06, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Read WP:RS. Nothing wrong with legends and such, but they need something better than "cryptic references" and you can't do your own extrapolations here. See WP:SYNTH and WP:OR. I'm not opposed to the concept, but it has to be better sourced. And take this to article talk, where any other editors interested can weigh in, not my page. Montanabw(talk) 16:16, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

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