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Please can someone explain the difference between 'baudet' and 'âne'? Do they correspond to our 'donkey' and 'ass', and if so, which way round?

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It seems that they both mean the same thing. âne is really more used that baudet . Perhaps in the agricultural or zoological language baudet is more common because it then designates a donkey stallion.

French doesn't really have a distinction between "donkey" and "ass", which are really terms for the same animal. In English, "donkey" tends to be used to refer to a domesticated ass. You could say âne domestique in French if you really want to differentiate, but it's not common.

As Erwan says, baudet is a zoological term that refers specifically to a male ass ("donkey stallion" or "jackass", although I think the latter is usually used as a pejorative term for a stupid person than to actually refer to the animal these days).

P.S. I think you can shorten "jackass" to "jack" -- I guess that sounds a bit politer!

Thanks, both of you, for your helpful replies - I've now got it straight! 


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