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Names to collect and to savour.

Byline: By Denis Kilcommons

Everyone knows certain collective words for animals. Like a herd of antelope, a pride of lions Pride of Lions is a melodic rock group fronted by former Survivor guitarist Jim Peterik and vocalist Toby Hitchcock. Formed in 2003, the group, according to Peterik is "my vision of the best elements of the great melodic rock era of the 80’s, updated of course with more  and a flock of birds.

But I went in search of lists of the more obscure and found many of which I had never heard. Here are some of the more esoterical.

A shrewdness of apes, a hedge of herons, a float of crocodiles, a smack of jellyfish and a murder of crows.

A cowardice of curs, a tiding of magpies, a paddling of ducks, a labour of moles, a parliament of owls, a company of parrots and a business of ferrets.

A quiver of cobras, a skulk skulk ¬†
intr.v. skulked, skulk·ing, skulks
1. To lie in hiding, as out of cowardice or bad conscience; lurk.

2. To move about stealthily.

3. To evade work or obligation; shirk.

 of foxes, an unkindness of ravens An Unkindness of Ravens is a novel by British crime-writer Ruth Rendell. It was first published in 1985, and features her popular protagonist Inspector Wexford, and is the 13th entry in the series. , a crash of rhinos, an ascension of larks, an ostentation of peacocks and a clamour of rooks.

A murmuration of starlings, a tower of giraffes, a bloat of hippopotamuses, a cackle of hyenas, a convocation of eagles and a charm of finches.

Perhaps we need collective names for people. Here are some which are accepted, others fanciful but apt.

An aggravation of traffic wardens, a giggle of children, a fleet of fishermen, a gossip of women, a heaven of nurses, a chaos of politicians, a posse of policemen, a faculty of academics, a company of actors, a tabernacle of bakers, a babble of barbers, a bevy of beauties, a shuffle of bureaucrats, a sneer of butlers, a congregation of churchgoers. And how about a pub of journalists?
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 5, 2004
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