Terms of venery

There are different definitions for this word, but in the form of this blog post,  terms of venery are collective nouns that describe groups that animals are in. No, this is not a English lesson so you don’t have to worry about studying.For example, everyone is familiar with a pack of wolves or a herd of cows. Sometimes these words can change just by action of an animal. An example of this would be a group of geese are a gaggle, but if those same geese were flying they would be refereed to as a skein of geese. Read below and see if you have even heard of these:

Skulk of foxes,troubling of goldfish,shiver of sharks,parliament of owls,kaleidoscope of butterflies,cloud of bats,zeal of zebras,smack of jellyfish,knot of toads,crash of rhinos,kettle of hawks,wake of buzzards,leap of leopards,sloth of bears,troop of kangaroos,trip of goats,business of ferrets,risk of lobsters,prickle of porcupines,dray of squirrels and a tower of giraffes.

Zeal of Zebras


10 responses to Terms of venery

  1. Libby says:

    These are fun! But how do the terms get chosen? Do people just make them up because they are fun sounding…?

  2. jebrown says:

    Libby, A lot of it has to do with mispronunciations through time. Sometimes things are misheard or translated differently into other languages. However, that cant be the case for all of them.

  3. julie says:

    Great big word! A murder of crows used to be a fave, but now I’m considering a sloth of bears as my new fave.


  4. Ranger Greg says:

    A Kettle of Hawks comes from the way the hawks circle around while rising up on a thermal. But there has to be more than just a few hawks to make a kettle, otherwise it’s just a Pot of Predators.
    How about a Murmuration of Starlings or an Exaltation of Larks or an Elegance of Waxwings…one of my favorites though, is a Rambling of Rangers!

  5. DJ says:

    I would be so happy to be part of the Rambling Ranger’s group!! 🙂 I really enjoy these blogs!!!!!!!

  6. I love terms of venery so much that I illustrated a children’s book–one for every letter of the alphabet! My favorites are jellyfish of course, a crash of rhinoceros and a bloat of hippos!

  7. M. Hinds says:

    I’ve read that book, Ms. Asper-Smith. “Have You Ever Seen a Smack of Jellyfish” was something I found cute AND informative. If there was any child in my immediate family of a suitable age, I’d give her a copy.

    One of my favorite venery terms from James Lipton’s book “An Exaltation of Larks” was a skein of geese. I like explaining to my friends the different terms for geese on the ground and in the sky.

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