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February 2, 2012

Thirteen Groups of Animals

Thursday Thirteen

This week my husband and I, plus several of the other drivers on one of our local roads, had to stop for about twenty geese to cross the road. This started a conversation about what a group of geese is called. According to an online page of the Christchurch library, I discovered that geese come in gaggles, clutches, flocks, lines, skeins, nides or wedges.

The perfect topic for a TT, I thought.

Thirteen Animal Groups

1. Crocodiles – bask or a nest

2. Flamingoes – stand

3. Ferrets – business

4. Goldfish – troubling

5. Grasshoppers – cloud

6. Hedgehogs – nest or an array

7. Hippopotami – bloat, school, pod or herd

8. Leopards – leap

9. Lice – flock

10. Midges – bite

11. Cockroaches – intrusion

12. Owls – parliament or a stare

13. Tigers – ambush

I don’t know how they come up with the group names, but it struck me how appropriate some of them are – hippo/bloat. They match perfectly. I’m not sure how ravens ended up with unkindness though. That one doesn’t seem to fit. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

My question to you – if authors and readers came in groups the same way as animals, what do you think they’d be named?


  1. sandy ibeati

    an avidon of readers and writers- made up for avid readers and writers?? people who love to write and read.sandy love the group names

    • Shelley Munro

      I like it, Sandy :)

  2. Jennifer Leeland

    It’s really a “business” of ferrets? That’s so cool!!!
    And LOL!! Sandy, that’s funny!
    Love these Shelley.

    • Shelley Munro

      The cockroach one made me laugh. Easy to tell that the person naming them was plagued with the wee beasties.

  3. Brinda

    Those are funny. What about a gaggle of girls? No?

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL gaggle might work…

  4. Kimberly Menozzi

    Sandy’s suggestion seems perfect to me! And my favorite animal group is a “leap of leopards”. I just think it sounds perfect, you know?

    Happy TT!

    • Shelley Munro

      I like that one too. It sounds so graceful.

  5. Alice Audrey

    Oh, I don’t know… many of the ravens I’ve encountered have been unkind to say the least. Blood thirsty could also describe them. They are, after all, carnivores.

    • Shelley Munro

      Ah. We don’t have ravens here, although I remember staying at a Youth hostel in Ireland, an old castle where they had rooks on the roof. I think they’re similar to ravens. Anyway, they were stinky!

    • Shelley Munro

      Some are very appropriate.

  6. Heather

    An unkindness of ravens seems about right–sort of like a murder of crows.

    Speaking of animals, I’m talking groundhogs today.

    • Shelley Munro

      A murder of crows is an interesting name. :)

  7. Virginia Cavanaugh

    If I remember correctly–it happens sometimes LOL on rare occasions– a cluster of crows is called murder. And if not crows it’s some form of bird.

    Trying to figure out why goldfish are troubling though LOL

    • Shelley Munro

      Yes, someone obviously had a grudge against goldfish.

  8. Mary Kirkland

    Those are interesting. I think if we put the authors into groups by the genres they write it would make some sort of sense.

    Historical authors- Historians

    Romance authors- A Gulp (Because we might gulp during the more intimate scenes..lol)

    Paranormal authors- A Charm (because of the magic of the stories..magic+charm…magic charm..)

    Erotic authors- A Wisp (Because most of the characters in erotic novels wear only a wisp of clothing during some scenes. lol)

    Horror authors- A Plague…or maybe a Hoarde…it would have to be something that makes you think ‘scary’

    • Shelley Munro

      Ooh, good suggestions. I like the genre divisions.

  9. Ron.

    Somebody told me (I’ve never seen it verified anywhere) that a gethering of more than 2 poets, regardless of how many altogether, is called “an allusion” of poets.

    • Shelley Munro

      That would work :)

  10. CountryDew

    This is quite fascinating. What a wonderful topic for a TT. I have always loved a “murder of crows,” mentioned by others, because it seems quite appropriate for those black birds, but many of these I had never heard of before. I love to learn something new!

    • Shelley Munro

      Most of these were new to me too.

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – thanks for visiting.

  11. Amy Gallow

    A Chaos of authors and a Fandom of readers would be close to my sparse experience of writing confferences

    • Shelley Munro

      Great suggestions. I particularly like the fandom one.

  12. Jaycee DeLorenzo

    Those are awesome. A business, really?

    • Shelley Munro

      I know – some of them are very interesting.

  13. Tania.F.Walsh

    I love all the different names for animal groups… Did you know a group of swans is called a wedge?

    • Shelley Munro

      That’s cool. We have swans near us. I always give them healthy respect because one chased me on my bike. Not pleasant!

  14. Maria Zannini

    What a great list and question. My all time favorite is still a murder of crows. It makes me laugh every time.

    As for a name for a group of readers and writers…

    How about a Book of readers and a Diphthong of writers?

    Maybe not. :)

    Love the list.

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – I couldn’t think of anything. I just ask the questions!

  15. Angela Brown

    It’s so interesting. I love that owls are a parliament or a stare. I mean, they have those eyes and are often portrayed as the wisest of the birds.

    Hmmm…a group of readers could be a nest like a nest of bookworms and I’ll make up storians for a group of writers since writers tell stories, the fun and made up and the not so fun and for real.

    • Shelley Munro

      A nest of bookworms. Not bad!

  16. Tamsyn

    Love this post! Couldn’t resist – A pen of writers.

    • Shelley Munro

      Ooh, that’s a good one too, Tamsyn. I like it.

  17. Ciara Knight

    Intrusion? Ha, I can think of a few other choice words that would fit those nasty little CR. *shivers*

    • Shelley Munro

      Well, they certainly intrude into places they’re not wanted :)

  18. Kaye Manro

    I knew about geese and gaggles. Interesting 13, Shelley!

    • Shelley Munro

      Thanks. It was a fun TT to do.