A Pandemonium of Parrots: Collective Nouns for Animal Groups
I recently posted an article on subject-verb agreement when the subject is a collective noun, and in researching collective nouns, I came across several sites that list the numerous and colorful names for groups of particular animals.
We all know dogs come in packs, cattle come in herds, and fish travel in schools. But did you know that a group of otters is called a romp or that a bunch of peacocks is an ostentation?
Below is a fairly comprehensive list garnered from various locations on the web. I don’t know how authoritative it is, as no two sites had quite the same list. Who’s in charge of such matters anyway?
I found myself fascinated for hours (literally) by this list. So many of these names are beautiful, clever, or evocative. Take, for example, a bloat of hippos, a bouquet of pheasants, or a murmuration of starlings. I love the alliteration of a flamboyance of flamingos, a rhumba of rattlesnakes, or a scurry of squirrels. Or the humor of a prickle of porcupines, a memory of elephants, or a lounge of lizards (really?) I can’t pick a favorite — an ambush of tigers? A murder of crows? A pounce of cats? There is poetry here.
Please don’t resist the urge to talk about your favorites in the comments below! And, of course, feel free to share this.