What is a collective noun? Just as the name suggests, a collective noun is a word that represents a group (or a collection) of people or things. The word “team“, for example, is a collective noun. It looks singular, but it means a number of people in a group.
How do you describe groups of animals then? Do you say “some” dogs, “bunches” of flies? Try these 10 common collective nouns instead. We often use the same collective noun for different types of groups. We might say a pack of wolves, but we could also say a pack of wild dogs or even a pack of rats!
Groups of some animals, like dolphins, may also have different names. For example, a school of dolphins could also be described as a pod of dolphins.
10 common group names for animals:
- A pack of wolves (or dogs, rats, mules)
- A swarm of bees (or termites, flies, butterflies)
- A flock of sheep (or birds, goats)
- A school of fish (or dolphins, whales)
- A pride of lions (or peacocks)
- A litter of kittens (or puppies, piglets, cubs)
- A herd of deer (cows, antelope, buffalo)
- A colony of ants (bats, penguins, rabbits)
- A family of otters (or beavers)
- A brood of chickens (or hens, chicks, turkeys)
These are some of the most widely used collective nouns for animals.
The word “swarm” can also be used to describe a large crowd that is acting quickly together, like a swarm of journalists or fans surrounding a celebrity.