Funny and Unusual Animal Names
Funny Animal Names
Sometimes animals have rather unusual names. Below is a list of some funny animal names. The list contains their names as males, females, babies and groups. I really found this rather interesting and sometimes hysterical. You can see how some of them got their names and others... well you just have to wonder, where did that come from?
A male alligator is called a bull, and the female is called a cow. Now, I would think the baby would be called a calf, but no, it is a hatchling. I guess that makes sense as it does hatch from an egg, but bull and cow just don’t seem to fit! A group of alligators is called a congregation. That makes me think of church! A group of young alligators is called a pod. Don’t peas come in a pod?
Now this should be easy! A male is called a male, a female is called a female and a baby is called a baby. Okay, so where do they come up with a group of apes is called, a shrewdness! The definition for shrewd is a keen awareness, sharp intelligence and sometimes tricky. Does this mean that they are only smart when there are a group of them? Hmmm.
There is little imagination used here. The male is simply a male. The female is called a female and a baby cheetah is a cub. Ok, but a lion male is a lion and a female is a lioness. Let’s use a little imagination here! Shouldn’t a male be called a cheetah and the female called a cheetahness? A group of cheetahs is called a coalition. A coalition is defined as a temporary union of two groups, especially political groups. Does this mean that a cheetah can run for president? Hey, I think we could use a third option!
A male crow is a cock and a female crow is a hen. A baby crow is a chick. Nothing unusual here, right? Wait for it … a group of crows is called a muster or a murder. A murder, where the heck did they come up with that? Does that mean that a group of crows are killers? Maybe, did you ever see the show “The Birds”! That show had me scared of black birds for years! Maybe there was really something to it!
Here is a good one! A male donkey is called a jack or a jackass. Ooh! Have they been listening to me talk about my previous boss? Donkeys are known to be stubborn, hence the nickname for people that are stubborn. Does this mean that I can get by with calling my hubby a jackass? Yeah, I don’t think so! Moving on now. A female donkey is called a jenny or a jennet. Shouldn’t that be jennass? Hey, we women can be stubborn too! At least that is what my hubby says. A baby donkey is a colt or a foal. I guess they are too young to be stubborn yet.
Try to figure this one out! A male ferret is called a hob. What is a hob? The dictionary defines a hob as a place to keep pans warm on a fireplace. What does this have to do with a ferret? Does he curl around your pot to keep it warm? If so, he had better watch that his tail doesn’t get into the fire! A female ferret is called a jill. Wouldn’t it make more sense to call a male ferret a jack? A baby ferret is called a kit. Ok, to me that is somewhere around kitten, so not too bad. Now a group of ferrets are called a business. I have no idea! Now I have heard some businesses be referred to as sharks or snakes, but never compared to ferrets!
A male fox is called a reynard. The only definition for reynard is the name of a fox in a mid-evil fable. So I guess they just called a male fox, a male fox prior to the fable. Now a female fox is called a vixen. A vixen is defined as a quarrelsome or spiteful woman. Does being a “foxy” women define you as bi–ch? Hmmm, that’s not what I though foxy was. Anyway, a baby fox is called a kit, cub or a pup. A group of fox is called a leash or a skulk. The verb form of the word skulk is to lie in hiding or move about stealthily. I guess that makes sense since fox are rarely seen in the wild.
Gerbils and Hampsters
The males are called bucks and the females are called does. Really? I think of deer when I hear buck or doe. I thought a buck was something with big antlers, not a cute little fuzzy thing that I used to keep in a cage in my bedroom when I was a kid. A baby gerbil or hamster is called a pup. A group of gerbils or hamsters is called a horde. How can a group of anything so cute and fuzzy be called a horde!
A male hummingbird is called a cock. A female is a hen and a baby hummingbird is called a chick. A group of hummingbirds is called a charm. Somehow I thought that was fitting. I had to add this one as I thought it was so “charming”. Pun intended!
A male kangaroo is called a buck, boomer or a jack. A female is called a doe, flyer, jill or a roo. Someone couldn’t make up his or her mind! A baby kangaroo is just called a joey. They had no trouble with naming a baby kangaroo, but a “joey”? Why not Jackie if a male kangaroo is called a jack. Jackie could be either a male of a female baby. A group of kangaroos is called a troup, herd or a mob. Now I have seen some people in a mob, jumping around like kangaroos, but I never thought of a group of kangaroos as being a mob.
This one makes more sense to me than most. Until several years ago, I thought a peacock was a peacock. I didn’t know that they were actually “peafowl”. Anyway, a peacock is a male peafowl. A female is called a peahen and a baby is a peachick. This makes sense! A group of peafowl is called a muster or an ostentation. I can’t find muster in the dictionary, but ostentation is defined as a pretentious display meant to impress others. Somebody knew what they were doing with this one!
A male swan is called a cob. This name comes from a Middle Eastern word, “cobbe”, which refers to the leader of a group. A female swan is called a pen. I could not find a reason for this. A baby swan is a cygnet. The constellation Cygnus is from the Latin word for swan. No one knows for sure which came first, the naming of the baby swan after the constellation or the constellation being named after a baby swan. A group of swans is called a herd, wedge, team or even bevy. There they go again, can’t make up their mind!
A male turkey is called a Tom. The “Tom” turkey gets it’s name from it’s promiscuity. Apparently, turkey don’t make the best of mates. The turkey was given the name “Tom”, referring to a tomcat. The female is a hen and a baby turkey is called a poult. Did someone just run out of ideas and energy here? Poult, I guess is short for poultry. A group of turkey is called a rafter. A rafter is described as an odd and motley collection of people or things. If “motley” means ugly, then this fits. I love turkey and I love to listen to them gobble, but I have seen better-looking birds!
Well, these are just a few of the names of animals, babies, and groups of animals that I found interesting or amusing. I hoped you enjoyed my sense of humor and learned a little something along the way!
© 2012 Sheila Brown
More by this Author
Meet Zoe, the only Golden Zebra know to be in captivity today. Zoe is not an albino, she has a condition called amelanism. Read more about Zoe, the rare golden zebra.
Originally from Africa, the Guinea fowl has been become popular in many countries, not only as a food source but for some of their unusual and quirky habits.
North America is home to four native species of wildcats. Learn more about the wildcats of North America with pictures and videos.