quirky collective nouns

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The English language has some fun collective nouns for animal groups:

Picture showing two crows with the title 'attempted murder'a shrewdness of Apes
a cloud of Bats
a flutter of Butterflies
a murder of Crows
a seething of Eels
a business of Ferrets
an implausibility of Gnus
a troubling of Goldfish
a loveliness of Ladybirds
a parliament of Owls
a mutation of Thrushes
a chime of Wrens

As the winter nights draw-in the endless possibilities of entertaining new collective nouns snuggle into the wendy house:

a ________________ of celebrities
a ________________ of Journalists
a ________________ of activists
a ________________ of celebrities
a ________________ of lawyers
a ________________ of bankers
a ________________ of MPs
a ________________ of commuters
a ________________ of cyclists
a ________________ of doctors

 

quirky collective nouns
rate wendys scribble

11 bits of lovely banter on “quirky collective nouns”

  1. Scarlet writes:

    A flash of celebrities.
    Good game!
    A gluttony of bankers… I shall continue to think about this.
    Sx

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  2. Scarlet writes:

    ….a wiggle of cyclists..
    Sx

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  3. Scarlet writes:

    A reception of Doctors…
    A brief of Lawyers…
    A zombie of commuters….
    A smear of journalists…
    A wedding of activists…
    A swill of MPs

    Bedtime!
    Sx

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  4. wendy writes:

    I love your flash of celebrities, zombie of commuters, swill of MPs and brief of lawyers. Here are some that appealed to us:
    A Hacking of Journalists
    An Expense of MPs
    An Intrusion of Doctors
    A Camp of Activists
    An Argument of Lawyers
    A lycra of Cyclists

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  5. Tim writes:

    Hm…

    …a station of commuters…
    …a scandal of MPs…
    …a prodding of doctors…
    …a flash of celebrities…
    …a crusade of MPs…
    …a plural of journalists…
    …a pub of cyclists… (Let’s be honest, whatever they say about fitness, we know where they’d rather be.)
    …a confusion of lawyers…
    …a Woodstock of activists…

    …a plethora of options!

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    wendy writes

    Yay! A stationary of commuters… painfully often true, I’d like to add:
    A Hedonism of Celebrities

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  6. wendy writes:

    It’s a cold night here and I’m having fun with myself.. and you:
    An Outlandishness of Explorers…
    A Fog of Bureaucrats…
    A Scribble of Authors…
    An Anger of Activists…
    A League of Parents…
    A Bubble of Innovators…
    A Judgement of Investors…
    A Flippant of Gameshow hosts…

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  7. Dominic Cronin writes:

    I’m surprised that no-one’s got the collective noun for Bankers. It’s an easy one: Wunch.

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  8. davep writes:

    English doesn’t really “have” these.

    Particular people have used these for poetic/literary effect (reason enough) and a very small number of them have entered common usage (e.g., “pod of whales” and “school of fish”).

    Some of them make some sort of sense (e.g., “school of fish”) but others don’t make any sense at all (e.g., “murder of crows”).

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    wendy writes

    I do like the poetic effect

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  9. Oranjepan writes:

    suggestions:
    a magazine of celebrities
    a byline of Journalists
    a huddle of activists
    an attendance of lawyers
    a host of attendants
    a horde of bankers
    a grubbing of accountants
    a committee of MPs
    a queue of commuters
    a lane of cyclists
    a rash of nurses
    a ledger of doctors…

    continuing:
    An eponym of Explorers
    A shelf of Bureaucrats
    A drum of Technocrats
    A riddle of Authors
    A snug of Parents
    A praise of Innovators
    An exclamation of Inventors
    A game of Investors
    A guessing of Gameshow hosts
    A meeting of Greeters
    A summit of Leaders
    A riot of Comedians
    A waste of Adverts
    A muddle of Models
    A grating of Bloggers (apparently it’s really a ‘carnival’ of bloggers, but that’s only according to the advertising).

    My favorite real one is ‘a bevy of ladies’, closely followed by ‘a curse of painters’. Always loved these!

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