African Safari Wildlife – Group Names and Name Origins

Collective Names:

Antelope – herd, cluster, tribe

Apes – shrewdness, troop

Badgers – cete, colony

Cats (Wild) – destruction, dowt, dout

Cheetah – coalition

Elephant – parade, herd

Giraffe – tower, corps, journey, group

Hedgehogs – array, prickle

Hippo – raft, pod, bloat, thunder, school

Hyaena – clan

Impala – rank

Jackal – skulk

Leopard – leap, lepe

Lion – pride, sault, sowse

Monkeys – shrewdness, cartload, troop, troup

Mongoose – business

Pigs (Wild) – sounder

Rhino – crash, stubbornness, herd

Wild Dog – pack

Wildebeest – implausibility, herd

Zebra – dazzle, zeal, cohort

Name Origins:

Aardvark: Afrikaans word translation “earth pig” as ears and nose resemble those of a pig, also burrows a lot.

Bat-eared fox: Refers to the big ears resembling those of egyptian slit-faced bat

Blesbok: Afrikaans word translation “bald buck” referring to the white blaze on the face

Bushbaby: Lives in the “bush” and their call sounds like that of a crying baby

Caracal: From the Turkish name “garah-gulak” meaning black ear, with reference to the black ear tufts

Cheetah: Hindu word “chita” meaning “spotted one”

Duiker: Afrikaans meaning “diver” from the action of the antelope when running away

Eland: Dutch word for elk, thought to be related or similar

Elephant: Greek word “elphas” and latin word “elephantus” for the species

Gemsbok: Dutch word “gems” meaning chamois in reference to colour

Genet: Name of area in Spain the species inhabited in the 18th century

Giraffe: Arabic word “xirapha” meaning “one who walks swiftly”

Hartebeest: Afrikaans word translation “heart cow” with reference to the shape of the horns

Hippopotamus: Greek “(h)ippo” meaning horse, and “pot-amus” meaning flowing river ñ a river horse

Honey Badger: Eats honey, badger from French word “becheur” meaning digger

Impala: Zulu name “imphala” and Tswana name “phala” for the species

Jackal: Persian name “sagal” for the golden jackal

Klipspringer: Afrikaans word translation “stone jumper” with reference to the bounding action in rocky habitat

Kudu: Khoikhoi name for the species

Leopard: Greek words “pardus” for panther and “leo” for lion, shortened to leopard from leopardus

Lion: Greek word “leon” for the species

Mongoose: Indian name “mangus” for the species

Nyala: Zulu name “iNxala” for the species

Pangolin: Malay name for “peng-goling” for the species, which means “the roller” from their habit of rolling into a ball for protection

Porcupine: Greek word “porcus” meaning pig and “spina” meaning species, direct translation “spined pig”

Rhinoceros: Greek word “rhis” meaning nose and “keras” meaning horn, direct translation “nose horn”

Springbok: Afrikaans meaning “jumping back” in reference to their unique jumping action called “pronking”

Warthog: Refers to the outgrowths or warts on the face

Zebra: Portuguese or Italian name of the species in the Congo region

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By: Marcelle Trethewey

About the Author:

Marcelle was born and raised on an African Safari Wildlife farm. She has successfully hand reared and released white faced owls, impala and gemsbok. View her Wild Africa blog at http://www.wildafricasafari.blogspot.com

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