Murder, fluther, cluster, and peep: fun collective nouns for animals

If this lady had a few more emus, she would have a mob.

I learned yesterday from a twitter friend that one of the collective nouns for jellyfish is fluther. Isn’t that a wonderful word? That got me thinking about all of the interesting group names for animals. A wake of buzzards. A murder of crows.  And at the opposite end of the spectrum is a charm of finches and a gaze of raccoons. Whether spooky or beautiful, animals have neat names.

To learn more, I tracked down a list of collective nouns for animals on the San Diego Zoo’s website.  Below are some of my favorites. Enjoy.

alligators: congregation

beavers: family

boars: sounder

buffalo: gang

buzzards: wake

camels: train

cats: clowder, cluster, glaring, pounce

chickens: brood, peep

cockroaches: intrusion

crocodiles: bask, float

crows: murder

doves: flight

emus: mob

ferrets: business

finches: charm

geese: gaggle

goldfish: troubling

hawks: boil, cast, kettle

hippos: bloat

hyenas: cackle

jellyfish: smack

lions: pride

leopards: leap

moles: labor

otters: romp

oysters: bed

pheasants: bouquet

prairie dogs: coterie

raccoons: gaze

spiders: clutter

starlings: chattering

trout: hover

walruses: pod

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9 thoughts on “Murder, fluther, cluster, and peep: fun collective nouns for animals

  1. These are great. I wonder how old and established some of these are, though. Someone was having too much fun inventing “an intrusion of cockroaches.” And what’s troubling about goldfish?

  2. Pingback: Happy birthday, Grammar Party! | Grammar Party

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