Hello there everyone,
I hope you are all well. This time let’s touch on some of the stranger aspects of the English language, and that is names for groups of animals.
If you don’t think they will be that weird, then read on. They are confusing for even the most native of native speakers.
Here we go in alphabetical order…
A “shrewdness” of apes- The word shrewd generally means astute or sharp in practical matters. For example: a shrewd politician. Perhaps politicians these days could learn something from apes? What do you think?
A “clowder” or “glaring” of cats, and if they are wild cats, then it is a “destruction” of cats – Now “clowder” comes from the meaning to “clot” or “coagulate”, and “glaring” in this context probably comes from the meaning of staring in a fiercely or angrily piercing manner which cats do. A “destruction” of cats though? Destruction means demolish; ruin; annihilate; kill or slay – I guess cats are good at killing animals so…
A “murder” of crows – I think I might understand this one, crows are kinda creepy. “Murder” means to kill or slaughter.
A “parade” of elephants – perhaps I kind of understand this one too, how about you? “Parade” most often means a large public procession, usually including a marching band and often of a festive nature.
A “business” of ferrets – this one has me really confused… I keep picturing ferrets in business suits. Maybe it is because ferrets are quite busy animals?
A “school” of fish – you might have already heard of this one. One of the meanings of “school” is a group of people gathered together to do the same thing, and as fish often do this, it is probably where this name came from.
An “army” – this one surprised me quite a lot when I first heard it, but then again I have seen frogs swarm over roads etc., in the countryside – just like an army, so this is probably where this name originated.
A “gaggle” of geese – now although the word “gaggle” sounds funny, the actual meaning is not confusing for these noisy birds. A “gaggle” means an often noisy or disorderly group or gathering. For example: a politician followed by a gaggle of supporters.
And now for the last one for this time. We will continue alphabetically from next month’s blog…
A “tower” of giraffes – this one is not too much of a mystery either, as we all know what a tower is… you know, Tokyo Tower, a radio tower, etc. I think this was probably one of the easiest ones to understand don’t you?
I hope you enjoyed this funny, if a bit obscure lesson in names for groups of animals.
See you next time!
座右の銘は「Never be afraid to always try new things and places, and enjoy life to its fullest.」