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A Dazzle of Zebras
The collective nouns for animal groups are really interesting. See if you can find one below to use in your writing. Explore these group names of animals from a dazzle of zebras to a dule of doves.
Dazzle means to overpower the vision by an intense light. Did you know it also means to impress deeply or astonish with delight? I think that zebras are beautiful animals and seeing a dazzle of zebras would definitely fill me with delight. A character would normally see a dazzle of zebras on a safari or in a zoo. Why not have him run across a group of these beautiful creatures someplace different like the middle of a busy city?
Deceit is a trick, a strategy intended to deceive. A group lapwings is known as a deceit of lapwings. Why have these birds been blessed with such a group name? Lapwings are birds that nest on the ground. Because of this, their eggs and young ones are more vulnerable to predators. The parents will deceive these predators in whatever way they can to divert attention away from their babies. Someone even wrote a poem called “A Deceit of Lapwings”.
A den of snakes could be hidden somewhere on your property. Large groups of these slithery creatures like to coil together in a ball. And the holes in the ground that most snakes live in could be called a den. A den of snakes could easily be compared to a den of robbers.
A descent of woodpeckers, especially if they were pileated woodpeckers, would be so noisy that you would immediately hit the ground. I have no clue why a gorup of these beautiful birds would be called a descent. Why don't you write a story about it and create a reason?
A Descent of Woodpeckers was also the name of a movie released in 2004. I have never seen this movie, but I find the name of it rather interesting. It is about a woman with agorophobia who fights to save her family.
I don't think that I would want to run across a destruction of wildcats, especially not the kind that have sharp teeth and claws like daggers. This name could be used to describe a basketball or football team, just as easily as it could be used to describe a group of women bent on annihilating someone.
Dissimulation is a cloak, a disguise, a masquerade, or a cover up. Just as lapwings use deceit and trickery to attract predators away from their young, all other birds probably do the same. Therefore a group of birds is called a dissimulation of birds. A dissimulation of birds or a deceit of lapwings could be used to describe a group of new parents hiding their young children from what threatens to destroy them.
a doading of sheldrakes - A sheldrake is a type of duck. I was going to tell you what a doading is, but apparently this word is only in use as the collective noun for this certain duck. So you can have some fun with this one and write about what you believe the definition for doading should be and why this name is used to describe a group of sheldrakes.
A group of turtles is called a dole of turtles. Dole is a payment given by the government to an unemployed person. I realize that not everyone unemployed is lazy, but turtles are know for being slow and lazy. Could that be why dole was chosen as their collective noun?
A dout of cats could be used to describe a bunch of cats that have been booted outside. It could also be used to describe a group of people who have been kicked out of a club or organization. Why do I say this? Dout means to put out.
Down is the word used to describe group of hares or a group of sheep. Down is actually one of several breeds of sheep, so it is easy to see why it is used as their collective noun. Down can also mean open rolling grassy country with smooth slopes. I can see such a piece of land as being home to many hares. A down of hares or a down of sheep could hold the secret to your story's mystery.
A dray is a vehicle used to carry goods, especially a cart or wagon without sides. A dray of squirrels could be seen as transporting nuts, acorns, and other items they feast on to their homes. This makes me think of people hoarding food because they fear a depression.
A drift of pigs is what you would call of group of these animals that are so cute as babies, yet so not cute as adults.
A draught of fish can consist of any kind of fish, as long as there is a group of them. They tend to stay together and would all travel in the same direction. A group of schoolchildren could easily be called a draught of fish.
Drove is used to describe a large group of many different kinds of animals. You could have a drove of asses, a drove of bullocks, a drove of cattle, a drove of donkeys, a drove of goats, a drove of oxen, a drove of pigs, or a drove of sheep. You could also have a drove of people.
The collective noun for doves is dule. Dule is another word that I couldn't find a definition for, so if you have one, please let me know. So you could make up a story about a dule of doves and why they were given that particular collective noun.
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