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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Collective nouns for safari

It seems like "bunch" is becoming the collective noun for everything these days. Bunch of people, bunch of bananas, bunch of stuff. How sad when the English language is filled with so many interesting collective nouns. I think that some of the most descriptive and entertaining collective nouns are for animals which you'll meet on safari in southern Africa. Here are a whole bunch of them to whet your appetite:
Baboons – Troop or Congress
Bats – Cloud
Buffaloes – Obstinacy
Cheetahs – Coalition
Crocodiles – Bask
Elephants – Herd, Parade or Memory
Giraffes – Journey
Hippos – Raft or Pod
Hyenas – Clan or Cackle
Leopards – Leap
Lions – Pride
Lizards - Lounge
Monkeys – Shrewdness or troop
Mongoose - Business

Owls – Parliament
Porcupines – Prickle
Rhinos - Crash
Weasels - Sneak
Wildebeest - Implausibility
Zebras – Dazzle or Herd
For many of the animals there are numerous options. I particularly love a dazzle of Zebra, a crash of Rhino and an obstinacy of Buffalo. Choose your favorite or better yet, make one up for fun and post it as a comment below.



Anonymous Drew Neil said...

Indeed, "bunch" is the dull default collective noun we rely on when lacking imagination. I'm all for inventing collective nouns. So much so, that I've built a site where I invite people to submit their suggestions for new ones. It's called

We take submissions through Twitter. All Sorts searches Twitter for any mentions of #collectivenouns, and parses the text for phrases of the form "a bunch of somethings". If you see one you like, you can vote for it by ReTweeting. The best suggestions bubble up to the top of our popular page.

Oh, and we do have a page of 'bunches'!

November 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

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