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Mule vs. Jackass — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on November 3, 2023
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse, while a jackass is another term for a male donkey.
Mule vs. Jackass — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Mule and Jackass

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Key Differences

Mules are hybrid animals, the progeny of a male donkey, known as a jack, and a female horse, known as a mare. This crossbreeding results in an animal known for its hardiness and ability to carry heavy loads. The term jackass, however, specifically refers to the male donkey, one of the parent animals needed to create a mule.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 03, 2023
The word mule is often used in a literal sense to describe the animal itself but can also be used metaphorically to describe someone who is stubborn or someone who carries drugs illegally. Jackass, on the other hand, can be a derogatory term for a foolish person, aside from its zoological meaning.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 03, 2023
In the context of farm work, a mule is prized for its strength and endurance, often preferred over horses and donkeys for certain tasks. Jackass does not typically carry such connotations and is less commonly used in agricultural contexts.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 03, 2023
Mules are sterile due to their hybrid genetic composition, which means they cannot reproduce. A jackass, being a purebred donkey, is fully capable of reproduction and is often bred with female horses to produce mules.
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Nov 03, 2023
While mules have played a significant historical role in transportation and agriculture, the term jackass is less likely to be used in a neutral or positive context, often carrying a negative or humorous connotation when used to refer to a person.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 03, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.
Male donkey.
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Nov 03, 2023

Reproduction

Sterile, cannot reproduce.
Fertile, can reproduce.
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Usage in Language

Can denote stubbornness or a carrier of illicit goods.
Often an insult implying foolishness.
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Nov 03, 2023

Role

Commonly used as a working animal.
Used for breeding and sometimes work.
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Nov 03, 2023

Connotation

Generally neutral or work-related.
Can be derogatory when referring to people.
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Nov 03, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Mule

Stubborn Person.
He was a mule when it came to changing his opinion.
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Nov 03, 2023

Jackass

Male Donkey.
The jackass brayed loudly in the field.
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Nov 03, 2023

Mule

Investment Term.
The mule in the financial strategy carried the least risk.
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Nov 03, 2023

Jackass

Foolish Man.
He played the jackass in the comedy skit.
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Nov 03, 2023

Mule

Carrier.
The smuggler acted as a mule for the cartel.
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Nov 03, 2023

Jackass

Obstinate Person.
Don't be such a jackass; just apologize!
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Nov 03, 2023

Mule

A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes.
Fiza Rafique
Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

Slang Term.
The driver behind me was being a real jackass.
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Nov 03, 2023

Mule

The sterile hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a female horse, characterized by long ears and a short mane.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

A male ass or donkey.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A sterile hybrid, as between a canary and other birds or between certain plants.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

A foolish or stupid person; a blockhead.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

(Informal) A stubborn person.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

A male donkey.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A spinning machine that makes thread or yarn from fibers. Also called spinning mule.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

A foolish or stupid person.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A small, usually electric tractor or locomotive used for hauling over short distances.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

An inappropriately rude or obnoxious person.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

(Slang) A person who serves as a courier of illegal drugs.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

A kind of bootleg liquor.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A backless slipper or shoe, often with a closed toe.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

The laughing kookaburra.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

The generally sterile male or female hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

(poker slang) A jack and an ace as a starting hand in Texas hold 'em.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

The generally sterile hybrid offspring of any two species of animals.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

To behave very obnoxiously.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A hybrid plant.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

The male ass; a donkey.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

(informal) A stubborn person.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

A conceited dolt; a perverse blockhead; - disparaging and offensive.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

(slang) A person paid to smuggle drugs.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

A man who is a stupid incompetent fool
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A coin or medal minted with obverse and reverse designs not normally seen on the same piece, either intentionally or in error.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

Male donkey
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

(RPG) A MMORPG character, or NPC companion in a tabletop RPG, used mainly to store extra inventory for the owner's primary character.
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Mar 11, 2018

Jackass

Entertainment.
Jackass was a popular TV show known for its stunts.
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Nov 03, 2023

Mule

Any of a group of cocktails involving ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice, and various liquors.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

(sailing) A kind of triangular sail for a yacht.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A kind of cotton-spinning machine.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A shoe that has no fitting or strap around the heel, but which covers the foot.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

To smuggle (illegal drugs).
Fiza Rafique
Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A hybrid animal; specifically, one generated between an ass and a mare. Sometimes the term is applied to the offspring of a horse and a she-ass, but that hybrid is more properly termed a hinny. See Hinny.
Fiza Rafique
Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A plant or vegetable produced by impregnating the pistil of one species with the pollen or fecundating dust of another; - called also hybrid.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A very stubborn person.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A machine, used in factories, for spinning cotton, wool, etc., into yarn or thread and winding it into cops; - called also jenny and mule-jenny.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A slipper that has no fitting around the heel.
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

Sterile offspring of a male donkey and a female horse
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

A slipper that has no fitting around the heel
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Mar 11, 2018

Mule

Hybrid Animal.
The farmer used the mule for plowing his fields.
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Nov 03, 2023

Mule

Footwear.
She wore mules with her summer dress.
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Nov 03, 2023

Common Curiosities

What does jackass mean?

It refers to a male donkey or can be slang for a foolish person.
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Nov 03, 2023

Can mules reproduce?

No, mules are generally sterile and cannot have offspring.
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Nov 03, 2023

Is jackass always an insult?

As slang, yes, it’s usually derogatory, but it also simply means male donkey.
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Nov 03, 2023

What's the advantage of using a mule for work?

Mules are hardy, have great endurance, and are less prone to diseases.
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Nov 03, 2023

How long do mules live?

Mules can live up to 30 years or more with proper care.
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Nov 03, 2023

What's the temperament of a jackass?

Donkeys, including jackasses, are known to be intelligent, cautious, and often stubborn.
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Nov 03, 2023

Are mules more like horses or donkeys?

They exhibit qualities of both but are generally stronger like donkeys.
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Nov 03, 2023

What is a mule?

A mule is the sterile offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 03, 2023

Why might someone prefer a mule over a horse for work?

Mules are often more durable and require less maintenance than horses.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 03, 2023

Is it offensive to call someone a jackass?

In slang usage, it is considered offensive.
Fiza Rafique
Nov 03, 2023

Do mules require special care?

They require care similar to horses but are often more resilient to tough conditions.
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Nov 03, 2023

Why is a male donkey called a jackass?

"Jack" is a term for a male donkey; "ass" is another term for donkey.
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Nov 03, 2023

How are mules created?

Through the breeding of a male donkey (jack) with a female horse (mare).
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Nov 03, 2023

Can jackasses be trained?

Yes, like other equines, they can be trained for various tasks.
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Nov 03, 2023

What work are jackasses used for?

They can be used for breeding, carrying loads, and as companions.
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Nov 03, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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