Houyhnhnms is a term derived from Jonathan Swift's novel "Gulliver's Travels." In the context of the novel, Houyhnhnms refers to a fictional race of highly intelligent, rational, and horse-like creatures that inhabit the land of Houyhnhnmland. These beings possess superior mental faculties and exhibit qualities of reason, virtue, and logic in their everyday lives.
The word "Houyhnhnm" is often used interchangeably to refer to both the collective race and individual members of their species. The Houyhnhnms are depicted as living in a utopian society characterized by absolute reason and devoid of emotions, desires, and irrational behaviors. They communicate through a language known as "Neighing" that humans like Gulliver struggle to comprehend.
In Swift's portrayal, the Houyhnhnms are contrasted with the Yahoos, a repulsive and savage humanoid species that represents human flaws and vices. The contrast between the Houyhnhnms' rationality and the Yahoos' brutality highlights the flaws of the human race and serves as a critique of humanity's irrational and base instincts.
To summarize, "Houyhnhnms" refers to a fictional race of intelligent and rational horse-like creatures in Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels," representing a society governed by reason and virtue, in contrast to the flawed and savage Yahoos.