Everyone’s heard of a murder of crows, but what do you call a group of jellyfish when they come bobbing by? Or a horde of crocodiles that’s paddling determinedly in the direction of your canoe? It’s times like that when you need the appropriate vocabulary (and not the four letter kind…)
Enter our list of the Weirdest Collective Nouns for Australian Animals…also known as a ‘List of Probably Useless Taxonomies that May Come up in Pub Trivia One Day’.
1. A PARLIAMENT of Barn Owls
Most Aussies would agree that a parliament made up of owls would probably be an improvement to the regular sort.
2. A WISDOM of Wombats
‘He is a fool who thinks himself wise’ – Old Wombat Proverb
3. A PARADE of Echidnas
A weird collective noun for a small, slow, spiky monotreme that dislikes public displays of emotion.
4. A MOB of Kangaroos
Quite an aggressive word for animals that spend most of their time sleeping of grazing. Incidentally, also the name for a group of emus.
5. A WEDGE of Black Swans
Black swans adopt the famous ‘wedge’ formation when flying to reduce wind drag…and because it looks way more badass.
6. A BASK of Crocodiles
A BASK feels about right, but we’d also have accepted a TERROR or a HELL NO.
7. A CONVOCATION of Wedge-tailed Eagles
…kind of makes every eagle gathering sound like a meeting of the U.N.
8. A SMACK of Jellyfish
Jellyfish are definitely ‘old school’ parents…
9. A PADDLE of Platypus
The cutest collective noun since a ‘Cuddle’ of puppies or a ‘Waddle’ of penguins.
10. A CRACKLE of Cockatoos
Probably named for the sound they make when you throw them on the barbie (joking – please don’t barbecue our native wildlife).
11. A LOUNGE of Blue-Tongued Lizards
An uber-cool VIP lounge no doubt, where Blue-Tongues hang out and discuss Frill-Necked Lizards behind their back.
12. A COMPANY of King Parrots
You are the company you keep, especially if that company is parrots.
13. A ________ of Koalas
Yep, it’s true. There is no official collective noun for a group of koalas. Allegedly it’s because you never really see them travelling in groups, and their eucalyptus diet leaves them too tired to form meaningful relationships. It’s over to you, Australia. What should we call a group of koalas? A NAP? A DISCO? AN INVASION?
Want to see the best of Australia’s native fauna? Check out small group adventures around the country.
Feature image c/o Tourism Australia