23 February 2006

in which I demonstrate just why I love the English language

Continuing with the collective nouns, I checked to see if a mob of kangaroos (which is what I have been saying all my life) is correct. (It is.)

Here are some other (correct) wee gems.

a flange of baboons
a deceit of lapwings
an exaltation of larks
a mischief of mice
a labour of moles
a rabble of butterflies (wtf?)
a nuisance of cats
a glaring of cats
an ostentation of peacocks
a parcel of penguins
a cartload of chimpanzees
a float of crocodiles
a trip of dotterel
a bury of rabbits
a passel of possum
a piteousness of doves
a weyr of dragons
a storytelling of ravens
an implausibility of gnus
a hurtle of sheep
a glint of goldfish
a leash of greyhounds (that one’s for you Sueeeus)
a parliament of owls
an ambush of tigers
a skein of goslings
a prickle of hedgehogs
a bale of turtles
a generation of vipers
a descent of woodpeckers
a plum of wildfowl
a crash of rhinoceros
a harras of horses
a watch of nightingales
a murder of crows
a sleuth of bears
a romp of otters

and my personal favourite for its sheer unpretentiousness ...

a group of guinea pigs.

I’m going to start my own collection.
Bec began it the other day with her suggestion of an orbit of astronauts.
I hereby add a tangle of knitters.

And as we are currently deep in the throes of the Winter Olympics, and here in Melbourne we will soon be mired in the Commonwealth Games, let’s go with a sporting theme.
(Starting with a bore of sporting events.)

A clutch of wrestlers
A spring of curlings (curlers?)
A slash of skaters
A leap of aerial skiers


Go on. You know you want to.


PS. A dotterel is a kind of plover.

19 comments:

Clare said...

Not very Commonweath Gamesy, but what about a Malvern of tennis mums?

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

my very personal touch ( and thank you, lovely Pea, for reading about the orbit!) is a tangle of twins

BabelBabe said...

how about a gurgle of babies and a tantrum of toddlers?

and a carmen of ice dancers?

a McTwist of snowboarders?

did you catch that link to the book, An Exaltation of Larks? looks like fun reading.

SueeeuS said...

!!Love it!!! (Was there a little Bill Bryson in there?)

I'd think of something clever to add, but I'm not awake enough for that yet.

blackbird said...

an embarrassment of riches.

Ayelet said...

A skein of knitters!

--erica said...

A batch of Boarders? as in snowboarders.

Of course..we always said "A gaggle of geese" to go with your animal theme

dani said...

i have always wanted a list like this. thank you!!!!

lvoe bec's tangle of twins (totally relate to that)

here's a couple:

a catch or cache of cricketers
an embrace of footballers
a glide of rowers
a stack of mountaineers
a rope of ranchers
and finally
a bevy of bloggers

Sharon said...

A hoop of quilters...

Kim said...

a mess of mothers?
a jug of guilt?
a flood/torrent/dam bursting of tears?

a juggle of life?

sigh.

I think you nailed them all with a bore of sports...

BabelBabe said...

i think it might be a meme of bloggers : )

Dawn said...

I love Victorian parlour games!

SueeeuS said...

Okay. I have some.

A cacophony of hormones
A yawn of excuses
A cherish of friends

too much fun!

String Bean said...

I especially love a hurtle of sheep. I don't think I've ever seen a sheep hurtle.

A queue of commoners?

Miss Eagle said...

In the Northern Territory, anything more than two is "mobs of". So you can have mobs of eggs on toast, even. Something to do with the NT being cattle country is my best guess.

Lynne said...

One of my favourite groups of animals is a parliament of crows (not owls).
Sounds like you are very busy at present! Everything happened at once. Sometimes you can't blog everything - I've got week, month old and year old news/pics that is on the back burner cos I've not had time to blog it.

Malinda777 said...

Very clever and inspiring collection. I enjoyed. Here from Michele

Di said...

Fantastic collection and comments.

We have a Passel of Possums living nearby who are trying to kill our little Robinia tree...

I love a skein of knitters.
how about
a wad of felters
a twist of embroiderers

With the sporting themes:
A scrum of rugby players (Rugby Union, of course!)

Surfing Free said...

I love a passel of possums! I am going to try to slip this into my everyday conversation - "You two are behaving like a passel of possums!", "I've been working like a passel of possums all week on this project", "This table looks like a passel of possums ate here!". Ooh, the fun :)