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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 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 of foxes, an unkindness of ravens, 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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