Sunday, 3 August 2014

Weird and Wonderful Collective Nouns

At the weekend I attended a monthly quiz at one of my local pubs. During the quiz there was a question: ‘what do you call a group of women?’ The concept of giving a collective noun to people was a new concept to me. I knew they were used for animals but not people. So this blog post is all about weird and wonderful collective nouns for people and professions (I had a smile and a giggle at some of them!). If you walked into a bar, you may see…

A faculty of academics.
A conflagration of arsonists.
A tabernacle of bakers.
A babble of barbers.
A promise of barmen.
A wiggery of barristers.
A shower of bastards.
A squad of beauties.
A rascal/plush of boys.
A band of brothers.
A shuffle of bureaucrats.
A sneer of butlers.
A goring of butchers.
A pound of carpenters.
A brood of chess players.
A pratfall of clowns.
A riot/gaggle of comedians.
A cavvy/saunter of cowboys.
A shrivel of critics.
A tantrum of decorators.
An amalgam/brace of dentists.
A rash of dermatologists.
A fagot of drummers.
A pound of Englishmen.
A prance of equestrians.
A grumble/sulk of fishermen.
A talent of gamblers.
A gross of Germans.
A gaggle of girls.
A tedium of golfers.
A slither of gossip columnists.
A conjunction of grammarians.
A nag/wisdom of grandparents.
A smear of gynaecologists.
A swish of hairdressers.
A herd of harlots.
A melody of harpists.
A debauchery of hedonists.
An ensemble of homosexuals.
An unhappiness of husbands.
A pint of Irishmen.
An explosion of Italians.
A wheeze of joggers.
A bevy of ladies.
A tough of lesbians.
A pink of liberals.
A band of men.
A mutter of mother-in-laws.
A jungle of Nazis.
A squeal of nieces.
A freeze of northerners.
A lie/odium of politicians.
A twaddle of public speakers.
A billow of smokers.
A bed of swingers.
A quiz of teachers.
A grunt of teenagers.
A sprig of vegetarians.
An impatience of wives.
A gaggle of women.
A crunch of wrestlers.
A worship of writers.

But it’s the soldiers and lawyers who have the most collective nouns:

Soldiers – army, brigade, company, division, platoon, muster, troop.
Lawyers – disputation, eloquence, escheat, greed, huddle, quarrel.


So it seems collective nouns for people and professions are closely linked, hilarious and, in some cases perhaps, quite apt. 

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