Word Play #1/3 | Collective Nouns for Animals

Before choosing to study Computer Science at university, I was in love with the English language and during my studies I was obsessed with learning new, fun, word facts… collective nouns, the origin of particular words and the semantic change of words over time were all areas that interested me.

Over the course of three Sundays, I will be sharing some interesting word-based facts to geek out over as you sit and enjoy your lazy, cosy day of rest.


This week, have a gander at some seldom-used or little known terms for different groups of animals:

(Try to notice how insanely cool all the names for groups of birds are!)

An ambush of tigers.

An Ambush of Tigers

A clowder of cats.

A conspiracy or an unkindness of ravens.

A convocation of eagles.

An earth or a skulk of foxes.

A Skulk of Foxes

A gaggle of geese (grounded or in water), or a skein of geese (airborne).

A generation of vipers.

An intrigue of kittens.

An Intrigue of Kittens

A murder of crows.

A murmuration of starlings.


A party of jays.

A pandemonium of parrots.

A prickle of hedgehogs.

A shiver of sharks.

A shiver of great white sharks.

A siege of herons.

A thunder of hippos.

A troop of kangaroos.



Do you know any other collective nouns for animals that I didn’t mention?

What are your favourites? Mine is definitely a murder of crows and a murmuration of starlings. Starlings in large groups of memorising!


16 thoughts on “Word Play #1/3 | Collective Nouns for Animals

  1. They are amazing words, I went through them all once as a English not being my native language, but some English people don’t know them either. You got more new ones for me to learn. I think it was a tower of giraffes too. My favourite is a Prickle of hedgehogs…. so accurate! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The obvious one: a school of fish . . . oh, a colony of ants, a troop of baboons, caravan of camels.

    And I looked it up to see some new (to me) ones, aside from many that you mentioned. I like memory of elephants. That’s funny.

    I had heard of a clowder, a gaggle, and an intrigue, but the rest were new. Thanks.

    Fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

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