Make Your Editor Cry: Animals in Groups (186 terms)

Make Your Editor Cry:  Animals in Groups (186 terms)

Whether it is a group of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, or insects there is usually a unique collective noun to identify the specific group, although some of these names are rarely used. Most people are likely to use the general term flock for a group of eagles or crows, rather than the proper terms convocation and murder. It’s likely that they would use herd for a group of whales or rhinoceros instead of a pod or a stubbornness. I have my personal favorites along the lines of jug, quiver, earth, maelstrom, and shiver, but you might find some gems of your own.

Collective names for groups of animals date back to medieval times. If your character is a knowledgeable person, a scientist, or a sesquipedalian logophile like myself (look it up), then he or she is going to know the proper term.

I scraped all the references I could find and ended up with a list of more than 180 of them, though I expect I might have missed one or two. Enjoy.

Animal Group Name
Albatross a rookery
Alligator a congregation
Ant a colony or an army
Antelope a herd
Ape a troop or a shrewdness
Baboon a troop or a flange (note: many claim the word for a group of baboons is either a “congress” or a “parliament” which is not true, although the converse is certainly true.)
Bacteria a culture
Badger a cete
Barracuda a battery
Bass a shoal
Bat a colony or a cauldron
Bear a sleuth or a sloth
Beaver a colony or a family
Bee a grist, hive, or a swarm
Bird a flock, flight, congregation, or volery
Bittern a sedge
Bloodhound a sute
Boar a sounder
Bobolink a chain
Buck a brace or clash
Buffalo an obstinacy, gang, or herd
Butterfly a kaleidoscope, flutter, or a swarm
Buzzard a wake
Camel a caravan, flock, train, or a herd
Cat a clowder, pounce, glaring, or a destruction (if they’re wild)
Caterpillar an army
Cattle a mob, drove, or herd
Cheeta a coalition
Chick a clutch or chattering
Chicken a brood, clutch, or peep
Clam a bed
Cobra a quiver
Cockroach an intrusion
Colt a rag or a rake
Coot a cover
Cormorant a gulp
Cow a kine
Coyote a band
Crab a cast or a consortium
Crane a sedge or siege
Crocodile a bask or float
Crow a murder, horde, unkindness, or a conspiracy
Cub a litter
Deer a herd or a parcel
Dog a litter (if they’re puppies), pack (if they’re wild), or a cowardice (if they’re curs)
Dolphin a pod
Donkey a herd or pace
Dotterel a trip
Dove a dule or a pitying (used only for turtle doves)
Duck a brace, team, flock (when in flight), raft (when on water), paddling, or a badling
Eagle a convocation
Eel a bed
Elephant a herd, parade, or a memory
Elk a gang
Emu a mob
Falcon a cast
Ferret a business, hob (male), jill (female), kit (babies), or fesnyng
Finch a charm
Fish a catch, draft, haul, nest, run, school, or a shoal
Flamingo a stand or a flamboyance
Fly a swarm, hatch, or business
Fox a leash, skulk, or an earth (i think this is the winner for strangest group name)
Frog an army or colony
Geese a flock, gaggle (when on the ground), or a skein (when in flight)
Giraffe a tower
Gnat a cloud or horde
Gnu an implausibility
Goat a trip, drove, herd, flock, or a tribe
Goldfinch a charm
Goldfish a troubling
Gorilla a troop or a band
Grasshopper a cloud
Greyhound a leash
Grouse a pack (in late season)
Hare a down or husk
Hawk a cast, kettle (when in flight), or a boil (when there are two or more spiraling in air)
Hedgehog an array
Hen a brood
Heron a sedge or a siege
Herring an army
Hippopotamus a thunder or a bloat
Hog a drift or parcel
Horse a team, pair, or harras
Hound a pack, mute, or cry
Hummingbird a charm
Hyena a clan or a cackle
Iguana a slaughter
Jaguar a prowl or a shadow
Jay a scold or a party
Jellyfish (Sea Jellies) a bloom, fluther, or a smuck
Kangaroo a mob or a troop
Kitten a kindle, litter, or an intrigue
Komodo Dragon a bank
Lapwing a deceit
Lark an ascension or exaltation
Lemur a conspiracy
Leopard a leap
Lice a flock
Lion a pride or a sawt
Lobster a risk
Locust a plague or cloud
Lyrebird a musket
Magpie a tiding, charm, tittering, or a gulp
Mallard a brace or a sord (when in flight)
Mare a stud
Marten a richness
Minnow a steam
Mole a labor or movement
Monkey a troop, barrel, or cartload
Mosquito a swarm or a scourge
Mule a pack, span, or a barren
Narwhal a blessing
Nightingale a watch
Octopus a consortium or a rally
Otter a raft or a romp
Owl a parliament (the human parliament has more in common with baboons than owls)
Oxen a yoke, drove, team or herd
Oyster a bed
Panda an embarrassment
Parrot a pandemonium or a company
Partridge a covey
Peacock an ostentation or a muster
Peep a litter
Pelican a pod or a squadron
Penguin a convent, tuxedo, colony, muster, parcel, or a rookery
Pheasant a nest, nide (a brood), nye, guff (in-flight), or a bouquet (take-off)
Pig a litter
Pigeon a flock or flight
Plover a congregation or a wing (when in flight)
Polar Bear a pack, aurora, or a celebration
Pony a string
Porcupine a prickle
Porpoise a turmoil, pod, school, or a herd
Prairie Dog a colonies or a coteries
Ptarmigan a covey
Quail a jug, bevy, or a covey
Rabbit a colony, nest, warren, husk, down, or a herd
Raccoon a gaze, boars (group of males), sows (group of females)
Rat a pack or swarm
Rattlesnake a rhumba
Raven an unkindness
Rhinoceros a stubbornness, crash, or herd
Roebuck a bevy
Rook a building or clamour
Salamander a maelstrom
Salmon a run
Sardine a family
Seagull a squabble
Seal a pod, harem, or herd
Shark a shiver
Sheep a drove or flock
Sloth a bed
Snail a rout, walk, hood, or an escargatoire
Snake a nest, knot, pit, or a den
Snipe a walk or a wisp
Sparrow a host
Spider a cluster
Squid an audience
Squirrel a scurry or a dray (a mother and her babies in a nest)
Starling a murmuration
Stingray a fever
Stork a muster or a mustering
Swallow a flight
Swan a bevy, herd, lamentation, or a wedge (when in flight)
Swift a flock
Swine a sounder or drift
Teal a spring
Thrush a mutation
Tiger a streak or an ambush
Toad a knot or knab
Trout a hover
Turkey a gang or a rafter
Turtle a bale or a nest
Turtle dove a pitying or dule
Viper a nest or generation
Vulture a venue, committee, kettle, or a wake (refers to a group feeding on carcass)
Walrus a pod
Wasp a pledge
Weasel a pack
Whale a pod, gam, school, or a herd
Wolf a pack, rout, or a route (when in movement)
Wombat a wisdom
Woodcock a fall
Woodpecker a descent
Worm a bunch or an opeth
Zebra a herd, zeal, or a dazzle
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