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#27597 - 04/28/01 05:57 AM collective nouns
sarawhyler Offline

Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 11
Loc: North Yorkshire, UK
Forgive me if this has been done before - I'm a very new recruit!

For example, a charm of goldfinches, a pride of lions, an exaltation of larks and a gaggle of geese.


#27598 - 04/28/01 06:21 AM Re: collective nouns
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
A very warm welcome, Sara, and congratulations on finding your way "below the fold" - these fora(?) are often sadly neglected. I think that this has been discussed before, but I don't care, as it gives me an excuse to repeat that my three favourites are, a lamentation of swans, a murder of crows, and an unkindness of ravens.

#27599 - 04/30/01 08:18 AM Re: collective nouns
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
A lick of chocolate p______. [gonna-get-this-into-the-lexicon-anyhow emoticon]

#27600 - 04/30/01 03:11 PM Re: collective nouns
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Sparteye: Why do they have to be chocolate?

Would dill do?

#27601 - 04/30/01 03:46 PM Re: collective nouns
jimthedog Offline

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 387
Loc: Hartsville, New York.
Yeah, I usually associate lick with ice cream.


#27602 - 05/01/01 10:20 AM Re: collective nouns
slovovoi Offline

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 28
Loc: Saint Louis, MO, US
A very good online resource for the various faunic(?) collectives is at:

I would lobby here (as I have elsewhere) for "a scrum of reporters," and "a skitch of bicycle messengers." Any other ideas?

[thanks, all, for permitting me a new forum for my semi-mad ramblings] :-)

#27603 - 05/01/01 12:19 PM Re: collective nouns
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
the various faunic(?) collectives

Hello, slovovoi. I believe that the term you are searching for is "terms of venery," so-called because they proliferated as the result of a game played by the British aristocracy a century or two ago, when hunting parties began creating collective nouns for the game animals they sought to slaughter. For some reason, the phrase was never simplified to "Venereal terms."

#27604 - 05/01/01 02:33 PM Re: collective nouns
slovovoi Offline

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 28
Loc: Saint Louis, MO, US
James Lipton, author of "An Exaltation of Larks" did indeed subtitle his book 'The Venereal Game.'

#27605 - 05/02/01 02:52 PM Re: collective nouns
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
last summer, a "stranger" dropped by to ask if there was a collective for a group of butterflies. it was agreed that there didn't seem to be one extant, and several good suggestions were forthcoming -- but somewhat later I discussed this with Charlie Elster ("There's A Word For It!") and when I mentioned 'flutter' he proposed 'flutteration', which I thought was just right. too bad the stranger will never see it. (also last fall, there was a book published with the title "What Do You Call a Group of Butterflies? And Other Insects" by Emma Nathan. but I'm not going to order it just to see what she came up with... :)

#27606 - 07/09/01 12:23 PM Re: collective nouns
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Been a while since anybody's posted here.

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