by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

Terms of venery

June 15th, 2011

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


Join the conversation:

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

    Posted by Libby
  2. 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.

    Posted by jebrown
  3. Thanks!

    Posted by Libby
  4. 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.


    Posted by julie
  5. 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!

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  6. I would be so happy to be part of the Rambling Ranger’s group!! :) I really enjoy these blogs!!!!!!!

    Posted by DJ
  7. How about a Klan of Keepers

    Posted by Mike Fink
  8. I’d have to say a Rambling of Rangers is quite accurate…

    Posted by Erin Brown
  9. 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!

  10. 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.

    Posted by M. Hinds

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