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« Awesome Car Commercial | Main | I Guess Andrew Sullivan Really Is Anti-Tax »
December 03, 2004

AoS Re-Play: Collective Names For Groups of People

Frank Villon informs me that the phrase a "stank of protestors" is a "venery" (or hunting) term for a collection of things.

Frank, you gotta be quicker than that to beat me in any game involving insulting people.

Way back when, on March 15, I collected up the lesser-known collective nouns for groups of people:

Since I was a kid, I always enjoyed the humorous and sometimes poetic group-names given to different animals. It was interesting to me that one said a school of fish but a pack of wolves; it was delightful that one said a parliament of owls and an exultation of larks. A shrewdness of apes, a crash of rhinoceroses, an ostentation of peacocks-- just grand poetry.

And of course it was just flat-out cool that one said a murder of crows.

But this practice was also extended to naming groups of people. One could say a skulk of thieves (cool!), a rascal of boys (cute!), and, if one could keep a straight face, a neverthriving of jugglers (goofy!).

More of these are found here; I don't know if I'll ever actually say a superfluidity of nuns, but it's nice to know that I could, if I wanted to.

I threw the crack Ace of Spades HQ Etymology and Semiotics Department at into researching other collective-names. After 1200 billable hours of research, all paid for by the ultra-secretive cryptofascist benefactor I know only as "Mr. Tranh," I've discovered even more collective-nouns for groups of people, these more relevant to the world we live in today. I plan to use these in everyday conversation; I hope you'll find some use for them too.

... from the Home Office in Pocatello, Idaho...

Top Ten Lesser-Known Collective Nouns for Different Groups of People

10. A gesticulation of Italians

9. A corruption of Congressmen

8. A moustache of policemen

7. A tumescence of pornstars

6. A shriek of liberals

5. A waddle of Rosie O'Donnells

4. An armpit of feminists

3. An insignificance of Canadians

2. A malodor of Frenchmen (also acceptable: a quavering of Frenchmen; a surrender of Frenchmen)

...and the Number One Lesser-Known Collective Noun for a Group of People...

1. A crimewave of Kennedys

Honorable Mentions:

A doddering of seniors

A twaddle of Democrats

A condescension of reporters

A kegger of college students

A genocide of Germans

A trust-fund of "peace" marchers

A hypervapidity of Maureen Dowds


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posted by Ace at 12:00 PM

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