Whether these terms were ever actually used by hunters is doubtful, but a few have in the end become a part of the standard English vocabulary, and scholars from the 19th century onwards have been diligent in reproducing these medieval lists, with greater and less accuracy, so that many of these terms are today still known as the 'proper' terms for a group of some stated animal or bird, even though their use outside this limited domain is virtually non-existent.
Collective nouns for animals Back to resources A number of medieval sources provided lists of collective nouns for various animals and birds, purportedly as technical hunting terms, although clearly fanciful in origin.
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Actual evidence of these 'proper' terms in genuine use is either sketchy or non-existent. Parma, parmi or parmo.
The list below includes many common standard English terms, such as a pod of whales and a pack of dogs , as well as more arcane terms such as a clowder of cats and a descension of woodpeckers. A number of medieval sources provided lists of collective nouns for various animals and birds, purportedly as technical hunting terms, although clearly fanciful in origin.
In imitation of these medieval terms many new terms of a similar nature have been coined in recent times, such as a crash of rhinoceroses. It may be noted that despite the existence of these collective nouns, ordinarily a group of plovers , starlings or owls will most likely be denoted, in both spoken and written English, by the term flock and not congregation, murmuration or parliament.Good Dogs Wait For Their Names To Be Called - The Dodo
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