Monday, March 01, 2004

Collective Nouns

"Crows. Family Corvidae. Collective noun," intoned Mr. Croup, relishing the sound of the word, "a murder."
- Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

Collective nouns can be kind of cool. I'd heard of a murder of crows before (along with an unkindness of ravens) but I liked the way it appeared in this book. There are plenty of other interesting ones to be found out there, too. This page has a nice, categorized list, while this one actually included references for all the ones she could verify as "authentic" (that is, existing somewhere other than in the mind of the person who suggested it). Here are some of my favorites:

a blessing of unicorns
a book of Mormons
a buffoonery of orangutans
a charlotte of webpages
a mass of priests
a parliament of owls
a siege of herons

And here are some of the more amusing, made-up examples. (Though really, the only way they're more "made-up" than the others is that fewer people so far have made them up. Funny how that works.)

a balance of accountants
a brace of dentists
a babble of linguists
a virtue of patients
a fraid of ghosts

Anybody else have any good ones? How about... a google of bloggers?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

an exaltation of larks
an asylum of managers