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Old October 3 2013, 11:55 PM   #1
Miss Chicken
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Collective nouns

i was having a discussion about this with a friend. She has a book which had a list of collective nouns in it and I remarked that the average person would ony use a fraction of those terms. For instance one of the collective terms was a 'superfluidity of nuns' which is term I have never used, heard used and - before reading the list - had never even seen in print.

So I am asked people here - which are the collective nouns that you would use?

Also for those who first language is not English, or those who have a good command of another language - do those language have many, or only a few collective nouns?

Last edited by Miss Chicken; October 4 2013 at 12:53 AM.
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Old October 3 2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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Re: Collective nouns

I don't think I've ever heard of the term "collective nouns."

Is it just a word you'd use to talk about a group of things? A lot? A bunch? A gaggle? A fuck ton?
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Old October 4 2013, 12:00 AM   #3
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Re: Collective nouns

A superfluidity of nuns? Really? Really? That's hilarious!

As to the question, I do use gaggle, more often in reference to a group of teenagers than geese. I know of a few of the others, but as far as I'm aware a lot of the more odd ones (murmuration of swallows, murder of crows, prickle of porcupines, etc) are really superfluous hunting terminology and were never used in common speech.
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Old October 4 2013, 12:05 AM   #4
Miss Chicken
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Re: Collective nouns

I don't think I've ever heard of the term "collective nouns."

Is it just a word you'd use to talk about a group of things? A lot? A bunch? A gaggle? A fuck ton?
Examples of collective nouns are

A flock of sheep
A gaggle of geese
A school of fish
A pod of whales
A bunch of grapes
A pack of dogs
A herd of cows etc

But there are whole lists of far less common ones

A parliament of owls
A gang of meerkats
A murder of crows
A congregation of alligators etc

I really think there should this one

"a trek of nerds".
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Old October 4 2013, 12:06 AM   #5
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Re: Collective nouns

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
I really think there should this one

"a trek of nerds".
How about "away team." An away team of nerds.
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Old October 4 2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: Collective nouns

Well of the top of my head

A gaggle of Geese
A herd of <insert name of animal i.e. Cows>
A flock of birds
A colony of Ants
A school of fish
A pod of Dolphins
A pride of Lions (also works for Sheep)
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Old October 4 2013, 12:08 AM   #7
Miss Chicken
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Re: Collective nouns

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
I really think there should this one

"a trek of nerds".
How about "away team." An away team of nerds.
That is for when nerds are on holiday together.

I think a 'convention of geeks' would work as well.
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Old October 4 2013, 12:09 AM   #8
auntiehill
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Re: Collective nouns

Well, I think everyone uses the common ones, like bunch, group, herd, congregation, mob, swarm, flock, fleet, pack. The other ones, the less common, are much more situation specific. I'm sure most people would use tribe, clan or colony, but not many know the ones tied to specific animals---a murder of crows, a parliament of owls, etc.

^Geeks don't tend to congregate, except at conventions, so wouldn't that be redundant?
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Old October 4 2013, 12:09 AM   #9
Miss Chicken
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Re: Collective nouns

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well of the top of my head

A gaggle of Geese
A herd of <insert name of animal i.e. Cows>
A flock of birds
A colony of Ants
A school of fish
A pod of Dolphins
A pride of Lions (also works for Sheep)
Also - an army of ants (if they are on the move)

I think many people would use troop for baboons or monkeys but I might just get that impression from wildlife shows.
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Old October 4 2013, 12:10 AM   #10
MacLeod
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Re: Collective nouns

Is there a collectiuve noun for politicians? If there is whats the betting that it'll be a negative one?
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Old October 4 2013, 12:12 AM   #11
auntiehill
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Re: Collective nouns

How about an "I-Phone waiting line of hipsters?"
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Old October 4 2013, 12:13 AM   #12
Miss Chicken
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Re: Collective nouns

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Is there a collectiuve noun for politicians? If there is whats the betting that it'll be a negative one?
A gaggle would suit them, or a mob (but in Australia we use mob for kangaroos).

On the net I came across

An equivocation of politicians
An odium of politicians.
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Old October 4 2013, 12:18 AM   #13
Miss Chicken
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Re: Collective nouns

^Geeks don't tend to congregate, except at conventions, so wouldn't that be redundant?
Yes, you are probably right.

and it seems that I misremembered the nun term - it is 'superfluity" not 'superfluidity' and as the two words have different meanings I suppose it is important for me to remark on my mistake (though I do think both words work for nuns)

Last edited by Miss Chicken; October 4 2013 at 12:30 AM.
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Old October 4 2013, 12:28 AM   #14
thestrangequark
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Re: Collective nouns

I thought it was a congress of baboons.
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Old October 4 2013, 12:31 AM   #15
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Re: Collective nouns

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I vaguely remember hearing a story about how the "congress of baboons" thing was a joke in a movie or something, but fell into parlance and wound up in a primatology book or something, because the author thought it was the real term. Maybe I am misremembering, though.

It's definitely been meme-ing it's way around FaceBook as of late.
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