Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Do You Call A Group Of...?


Yesterday's Post-Dispatch newspaper had an interesting article about crow levels returning to normal after a big die-off from West Nile virus.  Not everyone is happy about it, though. Halfway down the page I read:
Few people are crowing about the return of crows. The birds have an image problem. A flock of jays is called a “party,” a group of sparrows is a “host.” But a flock of crows is a “murder.”
I've heard of herds, prides, and flocks to describe groups of animals. ;But parties, hosts, and murders? Quite curious. I decided to do some research to see if there were any other unusual animal assemblages. It didn't take me long to find an awesome Website from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center that had a very thorough list naming animal congregations, which were divided into Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Fish, and Invertebrates.

Some of them are really offbeat. Did you know that groups of:
  • Cockroaches are intrusions
  • Flies are businesses
  • Eagles are convocations
  • Ferrets are businesses
  • Frogs are armies and toads are knots
  • Giraffes are towers
  • Hippopotami are bloats
  • Kangaroos are troops
  • Kittens can be litters, kindles, or intrigues, but adult cats are clowders or pounces.
  • Moles are labors
  • Otters are romps
  • Peacocks are musters or ostentations

Five years ago today: New Thing #44--Nice to Meet You


  1. This is interesting, but my question is why can't a group of animals just be called a group of lets say ducks? Or a group of mice or whatever. This sure would simplify life! lol

    Have a wonderful week Kathy!

    1. I never thought about your idea, but it certainly would!

  2. I think I'd like to be an otter......smiles

  3. Yes to otters; no to hippos :-)

  4. Kindles? Is that how they got the name for the e-readers? Perhaps they thought it would make it sound cute and fuzzy. This is so interesting.

    1. I looked it up on Wikipedia- it said they used the meaning "to light a fire", which was an apt metaphor for reading and intellectual excitement.