Latin expressions explained (10): « Asinus asinum fricat. »

Latin expressions explained (10): « Asinus asinum fricat. »

This Latin proverb was brought back into fashion by La Fontaine in his fable « The Lion, the Monkey, and the Two Donkeys » (Book XI, Fables, 1678). Literally, the meaning is « the donkey rubs the donkey ». In fact, donkeys can rub flank against flank to relieve their itching.

However, the figurative meaning is derogatory. The expression refers to two people who give each other compliments and praise because they are similar. Thus, by recognizing the other as a similar person, and by elevating them, one elevates oneself. « Birds of a feather flock together ».

They spent the entire evening complimenting each other. Asinus asinum fricat.

6 commentaires sur “Latin expressions explained (10): « Asinus asinum fricat. »”

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