Words At Play

Twice recently I’ve run across the term “a pod of dolphins.”  For some reason we have the need to use distinctly different names for groups of animals and other things.  So, I’ve decided to list some of the most interesting instances of this phenomenon.  Some of the names are commonly used while others seem to be more fanciful than anything.  In fact, it’s the fanciful names that most appeal to me.  Here is the list:

  • An army or colony or state or swarm of ants
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A herd or pace of asses
  • A troop or flange or congress of baboons
  • A cete of badgers
  • A battery of barracudas
  • A shoal of bass
  • A colony or cloud of bats
  • A sloth or sleuth of bears
  • A swarm or drift or hive or cluster or nest or erst of bees
  • A flock or flight or pod or volary or brace of birds
  • A sedge of bitterns
  • A brace or clash of bucks
  • A herd or gang or obstinacy of buffalo
  • A bellowing of bullfinches
  • A drove of bullocks
  • A flutter or kaleidoscope or swarm or rabble or rainbow of butterflies
  • A wake of buzzards
  • A train or caravan or flock of camels
  • An army of caterpillars
  • A clowder or glaring or pounce or intrigue of cats
  • A herd or drove or drift of cattle
  • A brood or clutch or peep of chickens
  • A chattering or clattering of choughs (A crowlike bird)
  • A bed of clams
  • An intrusion of cockroaches
  • A covert or cover of coots
  • A gulp or flight of cormorants
  • A herd or siege or sedge of cranes
  • A bask or nest or congregation of crocodiles
  • A murder or hover or muster of crows
  • A litter of cubs
  • A herd of curlew
  • A cowardice of curs
  • A herd or leash or mob of deer
  • A pack or kennel of dogs
  • A school or pod of dolphins
  • A flight or dole or piteousness of doves
  • A raft or bunch or paddling of ducks on water
  • A team or brace or bed or flight or flock of ducks in flight
  • A safe of ducks on land
  • A fling of dunlins (a small sandpiper)
  • A herd or parade or crash of elephants
  • A gang or herd of elk
  • A busyness of ferrets
  • A charm or chirm of finches
  • A shoal or run of fish
  • A stand or flamboyance of flamingos
  • A swarm or cloud of flies
  • A skulk or troop or company of foxes
  • A gaggle of geese on land
  • A skein or team or wedge of geese in flight
  • A plump of geese on water
  • A herd or tower of giraffes
  • A cloud or horde of gnats
  • A flock or herd or trip of goats
  • A charm of goldfinches
  • A troubling of goldfish
  • A band or whoop of gorillas
  • A pack or covey of grouse
  • A down or mute or husk of hares
  • A cast of hawks
  • A siege or scattering of herons
  • A bloat or raft of hippopotami
  • A drove or string or stud or team of horses
  • A pack or cry or kennel of hounds
  • A charm of hummingbirds
  • A flight or swarm of insects
  • A scold or party of jays
  • A fluther or smack or jellyfish
  • A mob or troop of kangaroos
  • A kindle or litter of kittens
  • A loveliness of ladybugs
  • An exaltation or bevy or ascension of larks
  • A leap or lepe of leopards
  • A pride or sawt of lions
  • A tiding or tittering or murder of magpies
  • A sord or suit or brace of mallards
  • A stud of mares
  • A richness of martens
  • A labour of moles
  • A troop of monkeys
  • A scourge of mosquitoes
  • A barren or pack or span of mules
  • A watch or enchantment of nightingales
  • A bevy or family or romp of otters
  • A parliament of owls
  • A yoke or yoke or herd or drove of oxen
  • A pandemonium or company of parrots
  • A covey of partridges
  • A muster or ostentation or pulchritude of peacocks
  • A muster or parcel or rookery of penguins
  • A head or nye or bouquet of pheasants
  • A flock or flight of pigeons
  • A kit of pigeons flying together
  • A litter or herd or trip of pigs
  • A stand or wing or congregation of plovers
  • A prickle of porcupines
  • A pod or school or herd or turmoil of porpoises
  • A litter or puddle of pups
  • A bevy or drift or covey of quail
  • A warren or colony or nest of rabbits
  • A gaze or nursery of raccoons
  • A string of racehorses
  • A rhumba or rattlesnakes
  • An unkindness or murder or conspiracy of ravens
  • A crash of rhinos
  • A bevy of roes
  • A parliament or building of rooks
  • A pod or herd or rookery of seals
  • A shiver of sharks
  • A flock or herd or trip or mob of sheep
  • A surfeit of skunks
  • A den or bed or pit or nest or knot of snakes
  • A wisp or walk of snipe
  • A host of sparrows
  • A dray or scurry of squirrels
  • A murmuration or murmuring or chattering or affliction of starlings
  • A flight or gulp of swallows
  • A game of swans
  • A wedge of swans in the air
  • A drift or herd or sounder of swine
  • A spring of teal
  • A knot or knap of toads
  • A creep of tortoises
  • A hover of trout
  • A rafter or clutch or gang of turkeys
  • A bale or turn of turtles
  • A bunch or knob or raft of waterfowl
  • A school or pod or herd or gam of whales
  • A sounder of wild boar
  • A destruction of wild cats
  • A team of wild ducks in flight
  • A drift of wild pigs
  • A pack or rout of wolves
  • A fall of woodcock
  • A descent of woodpeckers
  • A clew of worms
  • A herd or chime of wrens
  • A zeal or herd or dazzle of zebras
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