Collective Nouns – What do you call a group of?

By June 10, 2016 Language

What do you call a group of….

The English Language is a complex one, full of rules and regulations, that must of course, regularly be broken but only under strict circumstances, except when they’re not and we just decide to throw in an occasional word or two that flout all the rules and yet are deemed correct by our spelling bible, The OED.

One of our language’s more pleasing quirks is its ability to infer an identity onto objects that ordinarily wouldn’t be associated with the subject and some of the best examples of this is with our penchant for collective nouns.

There are far too many collective nouns for us to list them all here but we have attempted to find a few of the more innovative or simply funny ones for you to enjoy; how many of these do you know?

Employment

A Babble of – Barbers.
A Shuffle of – Bureaucrats.
A Tantrum of – Decorators.
A Shush of – Librarians.
Malapertness of – Pedlars.
Drunkship of – Cobblers.
Hastiness of – Cooks.
Faith of – Merchants.
Superfluity of – Nuns.

 

Animals

Bellowing of – Bullfinches.
A Shrewdness of – Apes.
An Obstinacy of – Buffalo.
A Clowder of – Cats.
Bask of – Crocodiles.
Piteousness of – Doves.
Paddling of – Ducks. (on water)
Skulk of – Foxes.
Pandemonium of – Parrots.

 

People

A Blush of – Boys.
A Pity of – Prisoners.
An Amble of – Walkers.
A Bevy of – Ladies.
Wisdom of – Grandparents.
Persistence of – Parents.
Giggle of – Girls.
Observance of – Hermits.
Flight of – Refugees.

 



A Few More Animals

Journey of – Giraffes.
A Coterie of – Prairie Dogs.
Surfeit of – Skunks.
A Destruction of – Wildcats.
Bloat of – Hippopotami.
Kindle of – Leverets.
Prickle of – Porcupines.
An Aurora of – Polar Bears.
Clan of – Hyenas.

 

Under the Sea

A Fluther of – Jellyfish.
A Glean of – Herrings.
Flotilla of – Swordfish.
A Herd of – Seahorses.
Glide of – Flying Fish.
Shiver of – Sharks.
Troupe of – Shrimp.
Party of – Rainbow Fish.
Swarm of – Eels.

 

Some More People

Flock of – Tourists.
A Colony of – Lepers.
Cowardice of – Curs.
A Herd of – Harlots.
Worship of – Writers.
Den of – Thieves.
Cortege of – Mourners.
An Conflagration of – Arsonists.
Blast of – Hoodlums.

 

I could go on forever and never reach the end of the collective nouns that are acceptable to the OED.

If you are curious as to what a group of something is called you could always take a look in a book.

A Compendium of Collective Nouns: US

A Compendium of Collective Nouns: UK





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