Challenge: How Many of These Obscure Collective Nouns Do You Know?

A pride of lion. A school of fish. A flock of seagulls (wait - that's actually a band).

Why do groups of animals have specific names? You can blame 16th century English gentlemen who wanted to sound cooler by inventing terms of venery (hunting) that later developed into collective nouns we all learned in grade school and loved.

Supposedly, way back in 1486, St. Albans Press in England printed a popular book called "The Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Blasing of Arms" - later known simply as Book of Saint Albans - that became the "how-to guide" on various aspects of falconry (it has a chapter on what sorts of medicines you can give to your sick hawk, for example), hunting, fishing, and heraldry.

The Book of St. Albans also contained a list of collective nouns of animals - the ones we're familiar with today like "gaggle of geese" - as well as some humorous ones, including "a dilligence of messengers," "a melody of harpers," "a blast of hunters," "a subtlety of sergeants," and a "superfluity of nuns."

But enough history - let's get to the fun part. See if you know the oddest and most delightful collective nouns in the English language.

Click the name of the animals to reveal their collective nouns - see how many you know:


(Monkey Photo: Augustus Binu)

So, how did you do?

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

A friend of mine created the collective noun "A flatulence of politicians", which I think should be promoted for wide use (hot air . . . get it?).

I'd love to see the headline: "State legislature failed to convene due to insufficient flatulence"
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.

We hope you like this article!
Please help us grow by sharing:

Get Updates In Your Inbox

Free weekly emails, plus get access
to subscriber-only prizes.

We won't share your email. You can cancel at any time.
Email This Post to a Friend
"Challenge: How Many of These Obscure Collective Nouns Do You Know?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window
neat stories? Like us on Facebook!
Close: I already like you guys!