A Covey of Kittens

November 26, 2012

At times the English language simply confounds.

For example – in my youth I swear everything even faintly animalistic was limited to Herds and Heads. ‘Heads’ were cowz and everything else ‘herded’.

Now that I am …um…more mature, I can attest to witnessing a strange evolutionary language process over the decades: i.e. more than one animal translates more than one thing. Among those being: flocks, sounders, congregations (gee, and I thought THAT herd was limited to religion!), mobs (ditto: no more does the Mafia have poetic license on the noun!), and even gulps (…NOT limited to bad table manners. Mom.).

I’ve assembled some recent Internet research findings below, accompanied by Expert Linguistic Commentary (mine), to wit:

Beast                   More than one Beast                                 Notes


Comorants          Gulp                                                  (ONLY if you see ‘em swimming at you winging AXES)

Alligators             Congregation                                   Makes sense: gators being Southern, I suspect BAPTIST…

Boars                   Sounder                                           Yeah, they are definitely BOARING when in a group

Cats                     Glaring                                              …if you’ve witnessed Timmy DeKat, you understand…

Crows                  Murder                                              Bill would LOVE to act on this descriptor of his Aviary NEMESIS

Ferrets                 Business                                          …who knew Harvard offered degrees in Ferret?

Frogs                   Army                                                 After a rain, sure seems like it.

Goldfish               Troubling                                          Only if your tank’s too small for the latest offspring

Larks                    Exaltation                                         ‘Cause of the vocal excitement

Peacocks            Pride                                                 …which goeth before you kill ‘em due to TOO MUCH NOISE

Raccoons            Gaze                                                 …what they do to you as they blatently eateth your koi


So what if we mix up the lot? I’m an English Major (ret.): I can pull this off. To witless:


Goldfish               Gulp                              Reflecting the age-old tradition of Goldfish Eating among the college set….

Boars                   Troubling                       If there’s more than one in yr life, you’re chosing the WRONG FRIENDS

Raccoons            Glaring                          …after you’ve wired the koi pond with electricity. Ask me how I know.

Peacocks            Murder                           Which neatly ends their entire vocalization issues

Cats                     Army                              …what you get when you keep ALL THE KITTENS

In addition, some new ideas for fresh animal groupings:

Kittens                           Covey                            They are cute, they covey in your arms, and r hard to give away

Crabs (the eatin’ kind)  Crunch                          …the sound made as you crack their claws over melted butter

Husbands                     Barkolounger                ‘cause if they’re not in one now – they WILL BE.

Sooo – wondering what to get that hard-to-buy-for person at Xmas?

I suggest a Covey of Kittens, for those who seek more cuddling privileges. Those fixated on business might enjoy a Business of Ferrets. Myself: a Crunch of Crabs holds my vote.


Bon appétit!

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