Words, Words, Words: Animal Collectives

animal collective

Before we list this A-Z of collective nouns, we should probably explain what a collective noun actually is. It is the word used to denote a group of something. We’ll be looking at some of the more unusual collective nouns for animals, however you may be more familiar with “a pride of lions” or “a herd of elephants”.

Strange Origins
Where do these terms actually come from? Well, the first known place that words of this kind were written down is in The Book of St Albans which was printed in 1486. A lot of these creative collective nouns have stayed in the English language (although there are some that have fallen by the wayside). Gradually some of the collective nouns have been changed or added to. You will notice that a lot of the nouns listed are pretty quirky, that’s because a lot of them have been invented for that purpose!

Here’s an A-Z rundown of some of our favourite animal collective nouns…

A shrewdness of apes

A sleuth of bears

A murder of crows

A pod of dolphins

A convocation of eagles

A flamboyance of flamingos

A tower of giraffes

An array of hedgehogs

A Horde, Nest, Swarm, Rabble, Plague of insects

A smack of jellyfish

A mob of kangaroos

A leap of leopards

A gulp of magpies

A watch of nightingales

A parliament of owls

A muster of peacocks

A drift of quail

A crash of rhinos

A clutter of spiders

A mutation of thrushes

A venue of vultures

A wisdom of wombats

A zeal of zebras

Game Review: Word Hack

rounded_512We love innovation and new idea when playing word games, but it is becoming more and more difficult to create a game that’s completely fresh without building on old ideas, or simply recycling them completely. The vast majority of word games out there follow the same Scrabble or Boggle type format (and often don’t manage to emulate them as well). That’s why when we played Word Hack we were pleasantly surprised that creators Blue Label Labs had managed to take a tried and tested formula but manage to completely reinvent it, to the point that it is almost unrecognisable! (more…)

Words, Words, Words: The Typo


There is no getting away from typos. At some time or another you’re going to have to face the indignity of having people laugh at you over the internet for misspelling a word. But don’t worry, it isn’t a sign of stupidity at all. In fact it’s quite the opposite! According to psychologist Tom Stafford, speaking to Wired.com, the fact that we miss typos in our own writing is that we are too busy processing high level information to focus on smaller details. (more…)

Your Questions: The Troubling Orange

where does the word orange come from?

Recently, on the WordSolver Twitter account, we tweeted a fact about oranges!

“There was no word English word for the colour orange until around 450 years ago”.

This prompted inquisitive follower @hyperionempire to query, “What did they call Orange before then? (Both the colour and the fruit)”. Not one to let our followers down, we decided to investigate and blow the lid off this citrusy, reddy/yellow conspiracy. (more…)

Poetry Corner: Haiku


Poetry is a broad and varied art form. There are many different types of poetry, each dealing with different aspects of life and covering as many subjects as you can imagine. There are different types of poems too. You might be familiar with the sonnet for example, popularised by William Shakespeare. This type of poem has a unique structure and rhythm which defines it. Other poems are defined by their subject matter. The many types of poems are too long to list here, so we are going to look at one of the most popular and widely recognised types of poem; The haiku. (more…)

Game Review: Tapestry Twist 2

tapestry twist 2We usually grumble when someone mentions the “S word”. Why would you want to play Sudoku when you could be expanding your vocabulary with a word game!? When we heard about Tapestry Twist 2 however, we couldn’t resist taking a look…

Word Sudoku
When players fire up the app, they are greeted with a plinky-plonky synthy soundtrack. If you can make it past this toe tappin’ tune you then have a word game to play! Structured in the same way as a Sudoku puzzle, players must use letters instead of numbers from a word provided. (more…)



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