May 17, 2012

unkindness, murder and charm

So I was haunting Twitter this morning (I like to wake up slowly, with coffee and mindless Interneting) when someone tweeted about collective nouns for birds, or more specifically ravens. Apparently a group of ravens is actually called an Unkindness. At first this noun seemed too amazing to be true, so I hightailed it on over to Wikipedia to verify this information (clearly I'm very concerned about scholarly citations).

And guess what! It's true! Groups of ravens are called an Unkindness. This makes the creative chunk of my brain do a little jig. I also dug up some other awesome terms.

Crows = Murder (I feel like lots of people know this one)

Goldfinches = Charm (This feels like something right out of Harry Potter to me!)

Owls = Parliament (This word is so perfect for owls.)

Parrots = Pandemonium

Jackdaws = Train

Lapwings = Deceit

My question, who came up with these bird terms?

I just looked up larger animal group terms and came across these:

Cockroach = Intrusion (Yes, that sounds right. *shudders*)

Gerbils = Horde (Run!! It's a horde of gerbils!!)

Lemurs = Conspiracy

Ponies = Marmalade

Salamanders = Maelstrom

Zebras = Zeal

There are so many more... But really, how many people say, "I was walking through the paddock today and I saw an entire marmalade of ponies!" I feel like this is a challenge. How many crazy pack/flock terms can I include in a single novel?


  1. Oooh, this post is very relevant to my interests. Knew crows and owls, but the rest is new to me (Marmalade of Ponies!).

    1. Go on Wikipedia, there are tons of cool terms. Way more than I had the time to type here!

  2. These are so cool! Great blog post.

    1. Thanks! I looked it up this morning and knew I had to blog about it!