Questions inspired by a turkey-related traffic jam

Still talking turkey after the holiday

What do you call a group of turkeys?

   Cape Cod wild turkeys. Photo by John Fitts.

A turkey-related traffic jam on Route 6A this morning, inspired the question, "what is a group of turkeys called?"

A clowder, a herd, a gaggle, a dray--what does one call a group of wild turkeys trying to make it from one side of Old King's Highway to the other?

If you said gobble, flock or gaggle, you'd be wrong!

We took to the cloud for the answer on wild turkeys and other Cape Cod land, air and water  critters and creatures and discovered the collective nouns for the following:

  • Bass: shoal
  • Clams: bed
  • Cod: lap
  • Cormorants: gulp
  • Fox: leash, skulk or earth
  • Gulls: colony
  • Hawks: cast, kettle or boil
  • Herons: sedge or siege
  • Herring: army
  • Jellyfish: smack
  • Plovers: congregation or wing
  • Sandpipers: bind, contradiction or fling
  • Seals: pod or herd
  • Turkeys: rafter or gang
  • Turtles: bale or nest
  • Whales: pod, gam or herd

Although many of these terms are not often used in everyday English, they are quite colorful and have been around for centuries.

Now, whatever would one call a group of tourists? Or Cape Codders--born and bred or washashore?

A definitive list may be found on the US Geologicial Survey website here. See another list from the San Diego Zoo here. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on