Quirky Collective Nouns for African AnimalsMay 1, 2020
While you may not be able to go on an African wildlife safari right now, when you can, be in the know and have some fun pulling out these quirky collective nouns when you encounter groups of these African animals on a game drive!
These speckled fowls are rather comical even when they are just walking through the long grasses and pecking at the ground. So, when the slightest noise sets a group of them off in a frenzied scurrying legs and flapping wings, the funny side of guinea fowl behaviour simply escalates. It is also at this point that a ‘confusion’ of guinea fowl makes perfect sense as the collective noun for this bird.
While more commonly known as a herd, the alternative name for a group of Africa’s most iconic quadruped is a ‘memory’. The saying ‘an elephant never forgets’ may be a bit of an exaggeration but research seems to suggest that there is some truth in it. They form incredible social bonds within groups, display compassion and intelligence, and they use their memories to safeguard their family against unfamiliar elephants.
As with elephants – and almost any ungulate or herbivorous grazing animal – zebra too can be called a herd. But why go with such a common and quite boring term, when the alternative is far more fun. When these incredibly beautiful, monochromatic animals are found together in a group, which they usually are, they can also be referred to as a ‘dazzle’.
Characteristically long necks and legs make the gangly giraffe an endearing animal to come across in the wild. They are a firm favourite among many wildlife enthusiasts and are mostly found together in groups. If they are standing stationary in a group, the collective noun for them is a ‘tower’. When a group is seen galloping out in the open, then they are referred to as a ‘journey’ of giraffe.
The buffalo’s temperament is a dead giveaway to what they are called when in a group. They are aptly referred to as an ‘obstinacy’ of buffalo. With those bulky bodies, hard helmet-looking horns (known as a boss) and the tendency to stay in large, protective herds, challenging their stubbornness is never a good idea, even if you are a lion.
Groups of lazy, wallowing hippos found in Africa’s lagoons and rivers can be called a ‘pod’. Considering dolphins are also referred to as a ‘pod’ and the two species are rather different to each other, we think a ‘bloat’ of hippos is a far more apt collective noun for them. While this name may elicit a chuckle out of safari-goers, coming across a bloat of hippos out of the water is no laughing matter as hippos are widely considered to be the most dangerous animal in Africa.
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