a pack of boars ?

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郭巨路

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi all,

" a pack of boars ", " a herd of boars " , " a cluster of boars", which is the most frequently used expression? I am not sure which word is the best option when it refers to

many a boars gathering around.

thank you.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Hi all,

    " a pack of boars ", " a herd of boars " , " a cluster of boars", which is the most frequently used expression? I am not sure which word is the best option when it refers to

    many a boars gathering around.

    thank you.
    I looked this up. (Google "animal groups").

    "Boar" is plural; "sounder" is singular.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    " a pack of boars ", " a herd of boars " , " a cluster of boars", which is the most frequently used expression? I am not sure which word is the best option when it refers to many a boars gathering around.
    I can find:-
    • packs of boars on the internet. http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2009/2009-08-70.html
    • herd
    • sounder of boars http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_collective_nouns_by_collective_term http://www.appcraver.com/uknowit/
    I did not try to get beyond these...

    GF..

    Which is most used and by whom?.. I wouldn't know how to find out...
     

    ralphrepo

    New Member
    English - United States
    This may be of interest: Seek out "Terms of Venery" in google. (I tried to post links but since I'm a new member, I was forbidden from doing so. Sorry).

    In the 1870 version of An Encyclopedia of Rural Sports (find on Google Books) in Chapter 1, on page 385, a reference made shows the following:
    1363. Terms for beasts of venery and chase when associated : —[...] a sounder of swine, [...]
    Thus, I would imagine that to refer to a grouping of boar as a sounder of boar would be historically correct. That being said, most English speakers today IMHO, would not know of such terms and would likely simply refer to such animal groupings as a herd.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you do some advanced Googling to remove the very popular lists of "funny" animal group names, there are less than 50 hits for "sounder of boar". Whether "sounder" is correct in some technical jargon or not, it is very rarely used and most people (those who don't study these lists full of "murder of crows" and "unkindness of ravens") will have never heard it.
    I think either pack or herd would work equally well.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The term is herd.

    To all intents and purposes there is no such word as sounder.
    I beg to disagree ewie.. In the hunting world many wierd names for groups of animals seem to still be there.. See for example http://wordinfo.info/unit/3676/page:3 from a page with the sub heading of Venereal (Terms: Names of Groups)
    "boars
    1. A herd of boars.
    2. A singular of boars.

    boars (wild)
    A sounder of boars (of twelve or more). "​

    A tradition to keep alive..... I bet the boars don't think so.

    GF..

    I didn't know this meaning of Venereal before today...
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I didn't know this meaning of Venereal before today...
    Neither did I. Mind you, the OED describes it as obsolete and rare, and has only one example dating from 1661 ... and venery from which it comes is also noted as now archaic.

    Sounder certainly seems to be obsolete. As for a singular, that looks like an error. The OED does have singular as an obsolete, rare spelling of sanglier, which is itself obsolete, meaning a full-grown wild boar.

    Many of the examples on the Venereal Terms page seem to be the factitious activity of list-makers rather than words that have evolved through the normal development of language - but the author does comment
    Many of the words in the Venereal Terms: Names of Groups unit have no authoritive basis and have been created, either seriously or humorously, by people to express possible names for the various groups represented in the terms.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    A sounder is only used in reference to hunting and, as I suspect that there has not been a gathering of boars to be hunted these last 300 years, herd will be the English collective noun.

    "M't:8:32: And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters." KJV1611

    The use of ancient collective nouns is particularly fraught - there were various local names for most of these. Also, it matter
    (i) what you were doing,
    (ii) what the animals were doing and
    (iii) where both of you were doing it -

    Compare "A gaggle of geese" and "A skein of geese." "A flock/roost and murmuration of starlings." "a raft/dabble of ducks."

    And no student of etymology, worthy of the name, can fail to study the strange and hilarious origins of the collective noun, "A flange of baboons!" :D
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The term is herd.

    To all intents and purposes there is no such word as sounder.
    Well, I have a problem with "herd". Herd is used in reference to pigs, but not hogs. Pigs being sexually immature hogs. There is nothing in the original post suggesting we are dealing with youngsters. For adult hogs, the terms "sounder" or "singular" are the groups. Although "singular" as a term for a group seems mighty odd to me.

    There must have been fifteen of them in that singular. (This sounds very strange to me.)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Well, I have a problem with "herd". Herd is used in reference to pigs, but not hogs. Pigs being sexually immature hogs. There is nothing in the original post suggesting we are dealing with youngsters.
    Not in BE, a pig is a pig. The word hog exists, but not in common use.

    For adult hogs, the terms "sounder" or "singular" are the groups. Although "singular" as a term for a group seems mighty odd to me.
    Why do you think singular means a group of boar - see my earlier post on this point.
     

    The Prof

    Senior Member
    As the original question was "which is the most frequently used expression?", then I would say that the answer would have to be a "herd" or even just a "group"!

    If you went out in the street and asked people that question, I doubt you would find more than a handful who had ever heard of a "sounder" (and certainly not a "cluster") of boar.
     

    Destruida

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    The plural of boar is boar. Sounder is not archaic in certain circles. Singular is, I believe, archaic, but it didn't refer to a group - it refers to the solitary way of life of certain adults. The reason these terms are unfamiliar to English speakers is that boar are extinct in the British Isles (Anerica?)
    On teh continent of Europe, they're so common that in France they're no longer classified as game, with a closed season and a resyrictioon on who ccan shoot them and how many, but as vermin, which can be shot at any time by anyone with a huinting licence. In France in 2008, of 42,471 declared road traffic accidents cause dby wild animals, 16,797 were due to wild boar. There are - forgotten the name in English - when a group of hunters surround an area, dogs are sent in and the game come charging out (or leaping if they're rabbits or deer.) Hundreds of thousands are shot each year in France, Germany, Romania.. I could supply dozens of links in French, but here's one in English http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,663411,00.html
    If I speak to my hunter friend in England, I'll ask him about English boar-hunting words in use. Hunting (hunting with dogs, but on foot) shooting (also with dogs, but dofferent breeds) and falconry) are vastly popular in France, Spain and many other European countries.
    Special words and expressions are used in most field sports and in most, as in archery, fencing, cocking and other long-established and still traditional sports, many of the terms haven't changed for centuries. The fact that they aren't generally known isn't a reason not to use them.
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    ... The fact that they aren't generally known isn't a reason not to use them.
    I agreed with just about everything you wrote except that last sentence.

    The purpose of writing is to communicate. If your intended audience will not typically understand the word, then you are not communicating.

    Of course if your communication is not your goal, then please ignore the above.:D
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I agreed with just about everything you wrote except that last sentence.

    The purpose of writing is to communicate. If your intended audience will not typically understand the word, then you are not communicating.

    Of course if your communication is not your goal, then please ignore the above.:D
    I think Destruida was referring to the specialist use of a word in a specific field or area (as in jargon) where those in the field understand perfectly but "outsiders" might not. Hence the usual need to be sure of the audience.....

    (Hog used to be the word used in England and it was replaced by pig, but it remains in use in the US - an old Anglicism:) )
     

    Destruida

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I think Destruida was referring to the specialist use of a word in a specific field or area (as in jargon) where those in the field understand perfectly but "outsiders" might not. Hence the usual need to be sure of the audience.....
    Yes, I did, thank you.
     
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