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.
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 . . .
while a group of wild turkeys is referred to as a flock.
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:
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!
Running list of various names for various groups of animals. We’ll keep updating as we learn more.
|fox-skulk, leash||ferret-business, fesynes||cheetah-coalition|
|turtle dove-pitying, dule||butterfly-lek, rabble, flutter, kaleidoscope||dog-kennel|
|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|