The best collective nouns


If that title didn’t grab you then I really don’t know what will…

I was struggling yesterday to think of how to follow up Jon’s fantastically infographic post, racking my brains to come up with an amazing best thing, something which will really blow your socks off, and I think I’ve done it: welcome to the world of collective nouns.

This may not initially sound interesting, in fact, some of you may not even be sure what a collective noun is, but don’t worry guys, I assure you it will be suitably boring…oops…I mean…exciting!

A collective noun is one which describes a group of individuals (interestingly [boringly] my definition used the collective noun ‘group’), so for example you could have a herd of cows where herd is the collective noun.

In day to day life we normally only hear of the normal ones like assembly or group, but in fact there are plenty weird and wonderful collective nouns used for groups of different animals.

Here are some of the best and weirdest ones I’ve found:

A shrewdness of apes

A congress of baboons

Apathic baboons in Emmen zoo

These baboons are trying to work out their 2014 budget – my guess is they’ll do it quicker than another congress I know…

A dissimulation (what?!) of birds

A singular of boars (this one is just confusing…)

An army of caterpillars


This army is going to invade, they look like fierce opponents

A litter of kittens (I realise this is common but actually it’s quite ridiculous)

A cartload of chimpanzees

A storytelling of crows

A piteousness of doves

A gang of elks and a mob of emus


A turf war has broke out between these two and I’m definitely siding with the emus

A tower of giraffes

An implausibility of gnus

A horde of hamsters


Lock your doors and stay inside, the hamster hordes are coming

A party of jays

A smack of jellyfish


I initially tried to find a picture of a jellyfish on someone’s face – that was a bad idea – too many photos of jellyfish stings

A stud of mares (this is like saying ‘A male of females’)

An ostentation of peacocks


“Yeah that’s right, we know we’re good and we’re all better than you…”

A creche of penguins

A passel of possum (“please passel the possum, it will go well with my dinner”)

A gaze of raccoons

A rhumba of rattlesnakes


This is the original and best rhumba you’ll ever see

A harem of seals

A hover of trout (they’ll never be able to hover, this is just mocking them)

A Bale of turtles


I’m unashamedly proud of myself for this…

A zeal of zebras (“I have a zeal of zebras for the blog Steve and Jon’s best things)

Well I hope that helped you get more learned and it’s times like this where I wish I could use Photoshop instead of Paint.