Home > Free Electronic Resources > Today in Government Information: Collective Nouns for Animals

Today in Government Information: Collective Nouns for Animals

FDLP logoLawyers and law students work with government information all the time. Statutes, regulations, court documents – these are all documents produced by state and federal governments. As a federal depository library, the PCL receives a large amount of other types of government information, however, and we monitor a variety of sources for government information posted online.

Today, courtesy of our network of government information sources and the United States Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, we present to you a list of collective nouns for animals. Collective nouns often show up in trivia questions, crossword puzzles and Jeopardy clues. Everyone knows that a group of lions is a pride, and a group of wolves is a pack. Many of us also recognize that a group of crows is called a “murder” (thanks, in part, to a 1997 movie starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.).  But what about buffalo? Apparently, the answer is “a gang” or “an obstinancy.”  Sure, a group of fish is usually called a school, but is there a special word for a group of trout? (Yes: a hover.)

The only legally related word that I saw on the list were a “parliament of owls.” In honor of our graduating class, this weekend, I will also point out the “convocation of eagles.” But the question remains: what do you call a group of lawyers or law students? The obvious answer might be “a bar” or “a court.” Other suggestions?

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