Origin of phrase: Donkey's years

At some point our hosts struggled with origins of this phrase. I’m not a native English speaker so I can not tell if this phrase come from donkey’s ears or long life span. However I did not have any problem understanding the meaning, mostly because of this:

As beasts of burden and companions, asses and donkeys have worked together with humans for millennia.

I think Donkeys seem to live a long time.

“Donkey’s ears” = “years” -> “Donkey’s years”.

54 million years ago, common ancestor of horses and related animals, were (more or less) a donkey like animal… Someone might count that as a long time ago. :smile:

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