Pronounced: kak-ih-STOCK-ruh-see (alt: kah-kih-STOCK-ruh-see), noun
Notes: This is a rare exception to my only posting words I don’t know; I was able to correctly guess the meaning of this word, but I think it is rare enough to post
The word clowder is “a group or cluster of cats”
Our word came into English around 1800 (very late 1700s or very early 1800s)
Background / Comments
Did you know this was the group word for cats? (I didn’t). A cat-oriented web site says that this word is used if the cats appears to know each other. A group of cats that don’t know one another is called a “glaring”, which seems somehow appropriate. A group of kittens is a “litter”, but also sometimes called a “kindle”. Our word has a purely English origin; it was a variant of the noun clodder (clotted mass), which came from the verb clodder (to clot; to coagulate), which came from Middle English clothered, a variant of clotered. There is also an obsolete word clotter (to huddle together).