Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Collective Nouns can be pretty fun...

A pack of hounds, a herd of elephants, et cetera are the norm.

Then there are the unique and thought-provoking:
a shrewdness of apes
a flange of baboons
a culture of bacteria
a sleuth of bears
a volery of birds
a wake of buzzards
a clowder of cats
a kindle of kittens,
a quiver of cobras
a float of crocodiles
a murder of crows
a wing of dragons
a convocation of eagles
a charm of finches
a skulk of foxes
an implausibility of gnus
a skein of goslings
a prickle of hedgehogs
a crash of hippopotami
a smack of jellyfish
a mob of kangaroos
a exaltation of larks
a lounge of lizards
a mischief of mice
a raft of otter
a parliament of owls
a muster of peacocks
a parcel of penguins
a sounder of (wild) pigs
a chine of polecats
a passel of possum
a plague of rats
a rhumba of rattlesnakes
an unkindness of ravens
an ambush of tigers
a generation of vipers
a warren of wombats
a descent of woodpeckers

Then there is the downright strange...
(from The Stokes-Whibley Natural Index Of Supernatural Collective Nouns)

A racket of banshees
A shroud of ghouls
a chimney of djinns
an opulence of succubi
a tizzy of fairies
a lawn of gnomes
a cavalry of Valkyries
a clamor of clones
a caper of mutants
a yard-sale of androids
a skynet of cyborgs
a fleet of probes
a swarm of nanites
a clubbing of chupracabra
a deviltry of gremlins
a lamentation of Morlocks
a sling of psychopaths
a choir of serial killers
a fulsome of hippogriffs
a flurry of yeti
a drudge of skeletons
a vexation of zombies

The reason this comes up was an email today from a frustrated co-worker...

Frustrated Co-Worker: "What's bigger than a cluster?"

She was, of course, speaking rhetorically. But that's never stopped me from taking the bit and running with it.

I had just the perfect response, in the form of a very context-sensitive proper noun, but having examined the bread to see which side the butter was on, and knowing the longevity of Interweb blog postings and how things find their way into Pearl Harbor files, I didn't reply immediately.
At least, not in written form.
A phone call did get made, and a chuckle was had by both parties on the call...

But this begs the question...

What is bigger than a cluster?
A horde? A legion?
And does that fit into the nomenclature?
Or do we depart from the standard format and start anew-

Trainwreck > Clusterfuck > Shitstorm > Catastrofuck?

Hope you found this instructive.



Irish said...

One that I just learned the other day that I had never heard was:

"a murder of crows"...

Thanks for the School lesson B.G. :)

Irish said...

oops i stopped back in and saw the murder of crows was in there.. shame on my adult onset ADHD!!

Anonymous said...


I like it. I shall find a way to use it sometime this week.

Bug said...

A shrewdness, a quiver, a murder, an implausibility ??
...seriously, who thinks up these goofy ass nouns?

There are different terms for different kinds of pigs and whether or not they are being moved? Who has the time to think this crap up? Are we really expected to memorize these so we can communicate properly?

Back to the main subject, I think you've nailed the progression of Trainwreck thru Catastrofuck"

minimedic is right...gotta find a way to use that.

Southern Belle said...

a tizzy of fairies? LOL

Anonymous said...

Definitely will be using Catastrofuck- totally sums up my life!