- The Democratic donkey: the donkey is an unofficial symbol of the U.S. Democratic Party. The jackass was first associated with Andrew Jackson in his 1828 campaign, according to the official Democratic Party’s website page on the history of the democratic donkey.
- Pin the tail on the donkey: A party game in which blindfolded participants attempt to attach a representation of a tail to a drawing of a donkey. The one who gets the tail closest to the tail end of the donkey wins.
- Donkey pronoun: a term in linguistics for a certain type of pronoun in which the syntax does not map straightforwardly to the semantics. Named after this example, in which “it” is the donkey pronoun:
Every farmer who owns a donkey beats it. — Peter Geach, Reference and Generality
- Hee Haw: a country-themed (in the sense of “rural” and “Western”) sketch comedy show with a donkey mascot. It was mostly on in the 70s. (The show’s title is the English onomatopoeic word for the sound of a donkey’s bray. For the record, my post titile makes reference to the sound, not the show. I find the show, or the memory of watching the show as a child, somewhat painful.)
- Eeyore: the gloomey donkey from Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.
- The Golden Ass: Another name for the Metamorphoses of Lucius Apuleius, an ancient Roman novel in which the protagonist turns himself into an ass.
- Nick Bottom: a character in the Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Bottom’s head is turned into an ass head.
- Benjamin: the donkey in Orwell’s Animal Farm.
- Donkey: the animated donkey, voiced by Eddie Murphy, from the Shrek movies (2001, 2004, 2007).
- Dapple: Sancho Panza’s donkey in Cervantes’ Don Quixote.