A prodigality of marvels

A prodigality of marvels

A perfect collective noun for a mass of marvels.  There are good reasons the first of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s duo of travel books is entitled A Time of Gifts.One of the most beautifully wrought recollections of a youthful stride across Europe, also capturing...
A doctrine of doctors

A doctrine of doctors

So now, when you are reporting from a medical conference, you know the correct term to package all those medics together.  They are huddling and expostulating as a ‘doctrine’.  Perhaps the collective noun refers, however, as much or more to doctors of the...
A drunkenship of cobblers

A drunkenship of cobblers

What did cobblers do to be nailed with such a bad reputation?  When did you ever see a drunken cobbler? Surely they should cobble together a class action, and hobble such aspersions on their profession, particularly given the favourable light cast on any gathering of...
A temperance of cooks

A temperance of cooks

Having recently revelled in the bursting descriptions of a quaffing, boozing, drunken chef in Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan, I was surprised to see the collective noun for the profession of cook being ‘temperance’.  Perhaps Swelter is the exception...
A covert of coots

A covert of coots

A covert is a shelter or a hiding place, from which you might study coots.  It can also refer to a thicket in which game can hide.  Does this aquatic bird hide itself in thickets (or reeds), to be given this collective noun? See also my review of Arthur...
A bask of crocodiles

A bask of crocodiles

Delightful collective noun this, suggesting a harmless creature soaking up the sun on a warm mud bank.  Just don’t tread on one when it’s basking.  Or ever.  And remember:   Row, row, row the boat, gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily-oh,...
A murder of crows

A murder of crows

A memorable collective noun, though perhaps unfair on the poor old crow.  I have a soft spot for these intelligent and social birds and am not aware that they are any more murderous than other hungry...

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