Are you watching a nice documentary movie about Africa where you see a group of lions, and then out of nowhere, this evil thought slips in – what is a group of lions called?
A group of lions is called pride. Then we have more specific groups. A group of male lions is called a coalition. A group of baby lions is called crèche. And a group of female lions is called pride. If you’re looking for a more exotic name, a group of lions in Afrikaans is called ‘n groep leeus.
But pride? Why pride? Why isn’t a group of lions called just… a group of lions? And why are there differences for more specific groups? Let me explain!
Table of Contents
What is a bunch of lions called?
As I said earlier, in general, we call a bunch of lions pride. It’s a very commonly used term we can find across all dictionaries. For example:
“A group of lions”– Cambridge Dictionary
“The definition of a pride is a group of lions. An example of pride is the family of lions in The Lion King.”– YourDictionary
Now that we know what a group of lions is called let’s discuss how many lions you need to call pride, the origin of this word, and more advanced stuff for specific group composition.
How many lions are in a pride?
We call a group of lions pride when there are at least two lions. So, whenever you see at least two lions together, you can call them pride.
The maximum amount of lions in pride isn’t limited (in terms of the definition of this word). Still, from the biological standpoint, it’s usually not more than 30 lions where three to four lions are males, about twelve of them are females, and the rest are their young.
If you want to know the average size of a pride of lions, it’s around 15 lions. Three or four males, several females, and the rest are young.
Why is a group of lions called pride?
Now the exciting part, why do we use the word pride for a group of lions? We don’t know exactly, but we have some theories.
The first theory is that the word is connected to the Latin word praeda (prey). The second theory is related to the Latin word parata (which means to prepare). The third and probably the most likely variant is that the word is related to lions being pride, bravery, and strong.
However, the word pride for a group of lions was first used in the Book of Saint Albans in 1486 (or at least this is the first documented use of the word). So, where is the truth? We can’t know for sure. But it’s quite romantic, isn’t it? You can come with your own explanation of how this word was created.
Enough talking, let’s dive into these theories a little bit more!
Pride as Latin word praeda (prey)
One theory is that pride as a designation for a group of lions comes from the Latin word praeda, which means prey. The reasoning behind this is that lions go hunting their prey in groups.
However, this theory isn’t very likely, because “ae” in the word praeda would be usually transformed into “i” in modern English, so it would be quite complicated to transfer the word praeda into pride.
Pride as Latin word parata (to prepare)
The second theory related to the Latin word parata (which means to prepare) is that the dominant male lion prepared this group of lions for himself and that he will lead (this prepared) group.
But again, it’s pretty unlikely because if it were really derived from this Latin word, it would probably be just “parata of lions”. It’s quite challenging to derive parata into pride, right.
Pride related to lions’ trait
This theory is probably the correct one. In the 13th-century, people began to think of animals as something that lived, which led to the emergence of various nicknames, personifications, etc.
We have other different names from the same period, such as:
- A peep of chickens
- A waddling of ducks
- A murder of crows
And when we think about it like this, it actually makes sense, right. People see lions as an animal that is proud, brave and strong. And from a proud lion, it’s only one more step to a pride of lions. This is most likely the correct explanation.
What do you call a family of lions?
A group of lions is, in fact, a family. So, a family of lions is called pride. It has both male and female lions and their young, and the size isn’t usually larger than 20 lions in total.
But lions don’t have a family in the classic sense. They’re in a group because it gives them different advantages. It’s also common that male lions leave this group (or pride or family) and create their own. However, female lions and their babies are more connected.
What is a group of male lions called?
A group of male lions is called a coalition. A coalition is usually a group of 2 to 6 male lions that help each other protect their territory and fight with other lions and animals in a safari.
There can be exceptions when the coalition might have up to 9 lions, but it’s very, very rare.
When they want to breed, they join a pride of lionesses for a year or two to raise their young and then leave and start wandering with the coalition again.
What is a group of female lions called?
A group of female lions is called pride. Nothing changes here. But instead of pride of lions, we might actually use the term pride of lionesses.
But it’s rare to find a group of lionesses only. Usually, there is at least one male lion. However, it’s common that lionesses help each other with raising their young, which is kinda nice.
What is a group of baby lions called?
A group of baby lions is called a crèche. Yep, that crèche you might know from when you were young or where you send your kids. The lion’s crèche works in a very similar way.
Lionesses keep cubs around in a group, so they’re at one place, and they can keep them safe from other predators and under their control.
When one lioness has to go on the hunt, another lioness takes her duty and watches out for cubs in this group, the crèche.
What is a group of lions called in Afrikaans?
Are you that guy who’s interested in the interesting facts you can tell to impress your friends? We got you covered! A group of lions in Afrikaans is called ‘n groep leeus.
There you go. Good luck with the pronunciation!
To summarize this, a group of lions is called pride. A group of male lions is called a coalition. A group of baby lions is called a crèche, the same as those you visited when you were a baby. A group of female lions is called just pride, but you can use the pride of lionesses.
The average number of lions in pride is about 15 lions. Three or four are males, several of them are females, and the rest are their babies. The maximum is usually 30 to 40 lions. The minimum number of lions together when we call them pride is just two. A coalition of male lions usually has 2 to 6 lions. A coalition with six lions is already a big one, but it can be up to nine lions in one coalition.
And finally, the origin of the “pride of lions” phrase is most likely derived from the personification of lions’ traits – proud, brave, and strong.
Image credits – Canva