A useful table of plurals, collective nouns, sounds, and names for females, males, and offspring (I add the necessary caveat that many alleged collective nouns for animals are more fanciful than real); a second page lists animal adjectives (anserine : goose) and tosses in a few herpetological riddles and jokes. Via wood s lot (via morfablog).


  1. Antling? snakelet? spiderling? My disbelief refuses suspension.

  2. Yes, there appears to be a fair amount of dubious material there. But it’s fun.

  3. Any such list which omits puggle, a young echidna, must be regarded as grievously incomplete. It’s such a fun word to say. The etymology of the term is mentioned here.

  4. dungbeattle says

    PUGGLE Once more nature likes to confuse us with another variation of genetic mixup[design]

  5. Going Dotty in Kansas says

    A delightful list…although as an avid rabbit fancier, I have always heard males referred to as bucks, females as does, and the offspring as kittens (not bunnies); I’ve heard proud breeders refer to their senior does “kindling to yield” x number of kittens.

  6. During my brief goat-raising period I was informed that the M/F are bucks and does. (Perhaps they were trying to upgrade the image from “Ma and Pa Kettle”.) The young were still kids, though. The goat-breeding lady was a nice Catholic woman. We asked her how many kids she had and she stiffened up and said, I have 12 children and 42 kids. We bred our doe to the cheap 5$ stud and it didn’t work – twice. It seemed that “Superstar” couldn’t get it in. It was off to the medical labs for the poor guy — apparently mature “entire” buck goat meat is pretty rank. I’m not saying that I’ve ever been impotent, but at least if I had been, they wouldn’t have performed medical experiments on me or butchered me. (What do feminists have to say about THIS?)
    When I was young I learned three different terms for veterinary diarrhea. The only one I remember is “hog scours”.

  7. During my brief goat-raising period I was informed that the M/F are bucks and does
    Billies and nannies down this way. But the kids are still kids.

  8. An interesting discovery – thank you.

  9. There’s also a very particularistic vocabulary for castrated animals (wethers, steers, oxen, capons, geldings) and also for age-grades (yearling, heifer, etc). Peoples who used livestock as sacrtfices or as units of value had still more complicated vocabularies based on coloring, blemishes, etc.
    The Eskimos did NOT have 100 words for snow, but I think that the Nuer probably did have 100 words for cattle.

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