During the first months of 2014 this was all over Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, among various other sites; “Did you know that a large group of baboons is called a congress? That explains a lot now, doesn’t it?”.
Well, it does. And it sounds awesome for sure, but is it true?
Luckely, fact checkers “Politifact” sorted it out.
They started by consulting dictionary.com, Merriam Webster, and the Oxford Dictionary, which did not use the term congress. They found it only on Wikipedia and the Urban Dictionary, where anybody could have contributed.
Eventually they went as far as to interview baboon anthropologists and a lexicographer. None of them had heard of the term, and most claimed a group of baboons is actually called a “troop”. Google Books confirmed that most noteworthy books mentioned the word troop as well.
They concluded that while it would be fantastic to mention this in a time where the US congress receives a lot of critisism, the correct term for a baboon is a troop. It’s a bummer, but it’s another linguistic myth busted 😉
Source of baboon butt: Wikimedia commons