For Donkey’s Years – British Idioms

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Level: Advanced    Reading Time: 2 minutes    Category: Vocabulary

Idioms are a great way to sound more natural when you are speaking English. Each country usually has their own idioms.

However, British English has lots of strange idioms that are confusing at first, but are really fun when you understand them.

Idioms are a great way to express a difficult idea in an easy way and can often be funny at the same time. 

           Read More: Chuffed to bits – British Idioms

                                                            

What does for donkey’s years mean? 

This expression is used to express that something has been happening for a long time.

It is another way to say “for ages” or “for many years“. Additionally, we will sometimes shorten the phrase to “for donkey’s” but the meaning is the same.

It is a casual phrase, but it is not offensive so you can use it whenever you like. 

However, this phrase is only common in the UK, and more specifically in the north of England. English speakers from other countries might not be familiar with this expression. In other words, be careful where you use this phrase.

 

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How Do you use For Donkey’s years?

A good way to understand idioms is to see examples of them in use. Therefore, here are some examples of sentences which use this idiom: 

  • I have been a vegetarian for donkey’s years.
  • That have been building the new office building for donkey’s years.
  • How is Steve doing? I haven’t seen him for donkey’s years.
  • That meeting seemed to last for donkey’s years.
  • I have been playing guitar for donkey’s.
  • I have been waiting to see this movie for donkey’s years.
  • They have been living together for donkeys’.
  • Mark has been working there for donkeys years.

So, that is how you can use the idiom “for donkey’s years” in English. Don’t forget to check back for more British slang words and phrases you can use with your British mates!

           Read More: Chuffed to bits – British Idioms

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