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Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

A vexing matter of great concern

I have discovered something extremely disturbing today, which I cannot let go unremarked and uncorrected. I have discovered that I don't know the term for a group of groundhogs!

Wikipedia has a very nice list of animal names, which includes the collective nouns for each animal. Groundhogs, and even marmots, are noticeably absent from that list. A quick Google search reveals that I'm not the only crazy person out there. Now what do I do if I come across a ___ of mafia groundhogs who attempt to "make me an offer I can't refuse" and barely escape with my life? How am I supposed to recount such a tale if I don't know the correct collective noun to use?!

I mean, is it just because groundhogs are largely solitary? But they still live together in burrows. So do we call them "burrow groups"? Families? Or, if you look at the list of animal names, a group of squirrels is called a "dray" or "scurry." Since groundhogs are marmots, and marmots are a type of ground squirrel, do these terms apply to groundhogs? Can you apply hypothetical syllogisms to collective nouns? So far it's the best lead I've got.