What is the collective noun for a group of dachshunds?
A wonderful instagram image of four dachshunds in a dog carrier from @abbiethedachshund in NYC got us into a brief exchange with them recently about the best collective noun for dachshunds. We undertook to do some research and report back. When we’re looking for our - now - two dachshunds at home or in the Barkmatic studio we usually ask ourselves ‘where are the sausages?’ or ‘where are the monsters?’ But we used to use the same words in the singular when we only had Sunny, so these are not properly collective nouns we think.
What we found
Wiktionary’s glossary of collective nouns by subject suggests a ‘moxie of doxies’. Moxie is described as ‘spirit, courage, force of character’. Hmm, that sounds familiar to all dachshund (or doxie) households. This collective noun probably works well for our north American friends, but since neither word is used a lot on the European side of the Atlantic we haven't chosen this option.
There’s a great collection of collective nouns for dachshunds at All Sorts, which describes itself as ‘a linguistic experiment’ (check here for more information and follow @collectivenouns on Twitter). [http://all-sorts.org/nouns/dachshunds] Some of the options are fun, but not really collective nouns in our view, such as a ‘shnitzel of dachshunds’ or a ‘chorizo of dachshunds’. Others, like ‘a royalty of dachshunds’ are brilliantly evocative of the dachshund character. ‘A badger of dachshunds’ has a certain resonance, given the original working role of the breed.
And the winner is!
But we best love the collective nouns that capture the character of the breed, or the sausage-ness of their shape. We know not everyone enjoys those sausage-y jokes for their dogs, but please humour us. The finalists are as follows: a link, a string, or a length of dachshunds, otherwise a mischief or a wriggle of dachshunds. And the joint winners are: a string of dachshunds and a mischief of dachshunds.
What’s your favourite collective noun for dachshunds?
Our apologies that this is an exercise entirely in English. We feel sure that our many German customers would have some choice examples to share of collective nouns for teckels, and we would love to hear about them.
New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/22/travel/dog-museum.html