For example 'collective noun'. 'Flock' of geese.

Is there a term for words like kitten, cub, spiderling or lamb.

Something like ' juvenile noun'.

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    It's unlikely that there will be a specific term for {nouns referencing juvenile animals}, any more than for {nouns referencing hardback books}, {nouns referencing womens cricket teams}, {nouns referencing large islands} or {nouns referencing fast cars}. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '16 at 9:11
  • @EdwinAshworth Fast car? Speedster, "And the two speedsters are presently parked at Sundaram Motors on Mount Road." ODO – NVZ Jul 22 '16 at 9:21
  • @NVZ We're not looking for a single-word term for 'fast car'; we're looking for an existing term to describe 'that set of nouns referring to fast cars/speedsters'. etc in my analogies. 'Clarkson nouns' doesn't exist. OP requires 'What is a term for the set of all nouns, such as kitten, cub, ... , which identify young animals?' – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '16 at 10:09
  • Wikipedia, which loves to use fancy terms, makes do with 'Terms for the young of the animal'. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '16 at 10:34
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    There is in certain cases. A diminutive form referring to an animal almost always refers to a young animal: gosling, duckling, suckling. In languages with productive diminutives (like Lushootseed, which has several types of root reduplication), you get the reference elsewhere -- with the root yub-il 'to starve (of human) / to die (of animal)', for instance, there is ʔuyuyub-il 'a small animal died' (CV- reduplication, diminutive), ʔuyubyub-il 'people starved everywhere (CVC- reduplication, augmentative), ʔuyubub-il 'he's run-down' (-VC reduplication, distributive). – John Lawler Jul 22 '16 at 20:55

In the generic case of "juvenile noun," young may be most appropriate. However, juveniles, juvenals, hatchlings, fledglings, immatures, kittens, cubs, pups, chicks, etc. are usually used as more focused terms for stages of immature animals. Technically, discipline-specific terminology is best unless referring to all animals, in which case immatures or subadults or (suboptimal) juveniles would be warranted.

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    This does not answer the question. Which is 'What is a term to cover the nouns of the set {'juveniles', 'juvenals', 'hatchlings', 'fledglings', 'immatures', 'kittens', 'cubs', 'pups', 'chicks' ...}?' A 'no' is better given as a comment. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '16 at 9:15
  • Do not answer questions which should be closed. For an introduction to the site, take the Tour. For help writing a good answer, see How to Answer. – MetaEd Jul 22 '16 at 17:06
  • Thank you both for the critique. I read the 'flock' equivalent as the goal, and young is the best option in AmE (and science). I've edited to put that at the front but retain the rest as a guide to aim people toward better uses in specific cases. – KWinker Jul 22 '16 at 18:01
  • @Edwin Ashworth and @ MετάEd please enlighten me about why an answer I am professionally well qualified to provide (young is a collective noun for any number of more specific words for immature animals) is somehow negatively viewed on ELU? There seems to be some lapsus in communication, and it may very well be mine. – KWinker Jul 24 '16 at 7:29
  • 'Young' is the collective noun for puppies, kittens, chicks, elvers.... OP wants a term to describe the words 'puppies', 'kittens' etc like 'proper nouns' describes the words 'Blackpool', 'Tom', 'Russia', 'Hamlet', 'Dyson', 'Kidnapped'.... The word 'kitten' isn't a 'young' any more than the word 'Blackpool' is a 'proper'. And 'young noun' isn't used. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 28 '16 at 18:09

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