Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Collective Nouns!

For years I’ve had this strange fascination with collective nouns. Now, I didn’t realize they were called “collective nouns” until recently but that’s beside the point. A collective noun is a group of things, like a flock of seagulls (the birds not the band), a herd of caribou and (because I went to a Catholic university) a gaggle of Nuns. 

Here are some of my favorites.

An Unkindness or Conspiracy of Ravens (Appropriate because truly I think ravens are the thugs of the bird world.  Tell the truth...don’t they look like little mafia hit men?)
A Murder of Crows (And what do you call two crows? Attempted murder!)
A Prickle of Porcupines
A Parliament of Owls
A Charm of Finches (several bird groups are called “charms” which I think is just adorable)
A Cowardice of Curs (another brilliant collective noun!)
An Ostentation of Peacocks
A Murmuration of Starlings
A Dazzle of Zebras
A Blessing of Unicorns
An Ascension of Skylarks
A Clowder of Cats (I used this in Jackson’s Rise. Reign is a cat shapeshifter and when all the cats get together—basically for an orgy—they call it a Clowder)

There are many lists available on the Internet.  Below is a link to one that I found particularly enjoyable!                                           
Have fun,


Jae Awkins said...

What a fun blog, Tielle! Thanks for the link & look forward to your upcoming works! :o)

LizbethSelvig said...

I've always loved these crazy words. I think someone way back in 500BC just made these up on a boring cart journey with her whining kids and it got passed down through the generations. "Okay, I'm going to the forum and I'm bringing along a ... gaggle of geese!" Fun post, Tielle!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I loved reading this blog. Thank you so much, collective nouns-who knew? Like amusing, little boxes we've kept for years in the top drawer waiting for a place to use them. Congrats on finding a place to use 'clowder'-my spell check thinks it isn't a word.Perhaps I spelled it wrong.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Very cool! I knew some of these, but not the charm and clowder. Now I'll have to work that smoothly into a conversation or a book....