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"υπομονή που έχεις σα σχάσης τον γαιδαρο."

What does it mean exactly?

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This is a better form of the phrase:
Η επιμονή σου σκάει γάιδαρο.

Literal translation :
Your persistence can burst/blow a donkey.

Meaning: You are extremely stubborn.

Donkeys are considered to have great endurance and patience.  So if someone can make a donkey burst (ie loose its patience, loose control, go nuts), this means he/she exerted enormous pressure, too much even for a donkey to endure.

Is this an insult or a compliment?  We usually say this when somebody get on our nerves with his/her persistence.  However under circumstances we can use it to compliment someone for his/her patience/persistence.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vasiliki Baskou, Instructor/Director, https://learn-greek-online.com.

by (45.0k points)
Thank you for the wonderful explanation! Just to clarify: I was waiting for a friend to get ready (TWO hours), so I believe the word used was υπομονή (patience), rather than επιμονή (persistence). I could be mistaken though. In that case, is it still an insult, or more of a compliment?

Yes, in such a case your friend could have said:  Η υπομονή σου σκάει γάιδαρο.  You were patient, (and maybe persistent too).

Insult/compliment, it depends on the feelings of the one who expressed it.  If your friend felt guilty for being so late, then it is a compliment and appreciation for your patience.  If your friend wanted to avoid you, make you bored and cause you to leave, then it is an insult.