Lost in Translation

Most of us have heard of a murder of crows, right? Rather than something that sends ominous chills up and down your spine, it’s really just a way to describe a bunch of crows without saying … well, “There was this bunch of crows …”

The names of other animal groupings are just as interesting and intriguing. How many of these had you heard of—and used properly—before today?

Orpheus Charming the Animals, Jacob Hoefnagel, 1613

A rookery of albatross.

A congregation of alligators.

A shrewdness of apes.

A battery of barracudas.

A sleuth of bears.

A wreck of birds.

A sute of bloodhounds.

A wake of buzzards (getting ominous again).

A bellowing of bullfinches.

A nuisance of cats.

A destruction of wild cats.

A coalition of cheetahs.

A quiver of cobras. (Well, sure, they’d make anyone quiver!)

A pod of dolphins.

A pitying of doves.

A memory of elephants.

A business of ferrets.

A charm of finches.

A flamboyance of flamingoes.

A tower of giraffes.

An implausibility of gnus.

A bloat of hippopotamuses. Hippopatami?

A lounge of lizards.

A mischief of mice.

A company of moles.

A parliament of owls.

A pandemonium of parrots.

A pride of peacocks.

A rhumba of rattlesnakes.

An unkindness of ravens.

A congress of salamanders.

A shiver of sharks.

A fever of stingrays.

A gulp of swallows.

A gang (or posse) of turkeys.

A generation of vipers.

A kettle of vultures.

A wisdom of wombats.

A dazzle of zebras.

These are just the ones that caught my eye. There are dozens more names of animal packs and groupings. Which one is your favorite?


Leave a comment 4 Comments

  1. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    these are my favorites: A rhumba of rattlesnakes ( just too perfect ! ) ,An implausibility of gnus.,( again- perfect name) A pitying of doves ( I’m guessing they mean mourning doves), A lounge of lizards.( is that where the phrase ” lounge lizard” came from? haha) A tower of giraffes.( perfect name! )

  2. Karlyne says:

    Wow! I just keep wondering who actually got the fun of naming them…

  3. Krista says:

    Almost all of these are new to me. I have only heard of a congregation of alligators, a nuisance of cats, and a pride of peacocks. Looks like I have some new phrases to learn and use the next time I see some animal groupings.

  4. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Gosh, I only recognize a pod of dolphins. I never knew about all these other terms and they are fascinating.
    Thanks fo sharing this today.

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