What Do You Call A Group Of Turkeys? How ’bout Baboons?

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The English language has some wonderful collective nouns for various groups of animals. You’ve probably heard of a Herd of Cows, a Flock of Chickens, a School of Fish, a Gaggle of Geese, and a Pride of Lions. You might have even heard of a Murder of Crows, an Exaltation of Doves and, a Parliament of Owls. But did you know that a group of flamingos is called a stand prior to seeing that image above?

And how about the proper collective noun for a group of baboons?

Believe it or not . . . it’s not a Congress, though a Congress of Baboons is kind of fitting, right?! It’s actually a troop.

5 baboons sitting together

a Troop of Baboons

We find the various animal group names to be quite entertaining and we couldn’t help but wonder how these names evolved. We did quite a bit of research over the course of several days trying to find a definitive source as to the authority on the “right” collective noun for the various animal groups, but there doesn’t seem to be a single authority on the subject, per se.

To complicate matters, it turns out there are some variations and nuances that aren’t always spelled out or even agreed upon. For example, it seems that a group of turkeys is called a rafter. However, there’s evidently a distinction between domestic and wild turkeys when it comes to knowing what to call them as a group. A group of domestic turkeys is called a rafter . . .

group of domestic turkeys

a Rafter of Turkeys

while a group of wild turkeys is referred to as a flock.

a group of wild turkeys

a Flock of Turkeys

Still, it’s fun to see what you can find by looking and it’s interesting to note that many of the names for groups of animals are descriptive of the animals themselves:

a group of white geese

a Gaggle of Geese

2 white rhinos in South Africa

a Crash of Rhinoceroses

three porcupines eating a banana together

a Prickle of Porcupines

As an aside, we’d also like to point out that we like to call more than one Rhinoceros, Rhinoceri (rhinoceroses), more than one Porcupine, Porcupie (porcupines), and more than one Opossum, Poseye (opossums, or possums). It’s wrong, but it’s fun!

The List

Running list of various names for various groups of animals. We’ll keep updating as we learn more.

cows-herds chickens-flock fish-school
geese-gaggle lions-pride crows-murder
doves-exaltation owls-parliament baboons-troop
woodpecker-descent turtle-bale turkey-rafter
tiger-ambush squirrel-dray skunk-surfeit
rhinoceros-crash rat-horde raccoon-nursery
rabbit-drove, warren penguin-rookery parrot-company
monkey-troop,tribe mallard-flush leopard-leap, prowl
kangaroo-troop,herd,mob hummingbird-charm guinea pig-group
gorilla-band gerbil-horde frog-army, knot
fox-skulk, leash ferret-business, fesynes cheetah-coalition
ape-shrewdness barracudas-battery cat-clowder, pounce
turtle dove-pitying, dule butterfly-lek, rabble, flutter, kaleidoscope dog-kennel
flamingo-stand, flamboyance giraffe-tower lizard-lounge
porcupine-prickle zebra-zeal, crossing, dazzle finche-charm
bear-sloth, sleuth coyote-band elephant-herd, parade, memory
hippopotamus-bloat goldfish-glint, troubling crocodile-bask, float
hyena-cackle, clan wild cat-destruction goat-tribe, trip, drove
greyhound-leash alligator-congregarion peacock-muster, ostentation
opossum-passel
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About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi spent her time working in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this, this was pretty amusing for me too. I wouldn’t like to be in the midst of a coalition of cheetahs, or a destruction of wildcats.lols Seriously, I would love to know who came up with these too, how long ago were these coined?

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