The Romance of Language: Word for the Week 2/24/17

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Murmuration:

“A flock of starlings.”

–from C.E. Hare’s The Language of Field Sports, 1939

Therefore, a murmuration of starlings.

 

There are so many strange words to denote groups of animals, and apparently there is one for each kind of animal.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My favorite may be “a murder of crows.”

But I also like

“A conspiracy of lemurs”

“A cauldron of bats”

“A clowder of cats” or “A kindle of kittens”

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

“A romp of otters” (how apropo!)

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“An ostentation of peacocks” (again appropriate)

“A quiver of cobras”

“A maelstrom of salamanders”

and

“A parliament of owls” collared_scops_owl_2

If you’d like to see more of these fun collective nouns, check out Russell McLendon’s post on Mother Nature’s Network here. He’s got 99 of them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Responses to The Romance of Language: Word for the Week 2/24/17

  1. Melissa Keir says:

    The quiver of snakes is exactly what I’d be doing when I saw a group of them! What a wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Murmuration” is familiar to me, but not because of a nature show. When we lived in Virginia, across from the Pentagon, there was a very large open parking structure nearby, within sight of our unit. The structure had some sort of wind break or other device which was made up of a number of rungs. Rungs just right for perching birds. Every summer, we’d see a murmuration of starlings come and go from that parking structure, in crazy patterns, flowing through the air like a cloud of noisy smoke blown by the wind. There were, I think, tens of thousands of the birds flocking. What a sight!

    Thanks for mentioning all the various other names for groups of animals. Always fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. beppie2014 says:

    I remember reading my children a picture book called A Kindle of Kittens. Written by a reasonably well-known Cornish writer (at least the books of hers I’ve read circle around Cornwall). Of course her name is a present mystery to me. Query: am I motivated enough to go see what’s on the book shelves when I know there are still 20ish boxes in the basement?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Such a cute title! I don’t remember ever knowing that’s what you called a group of kittens. I know about bees being a hive, and porpoises being a pod, but not the everyday animals you’d think I’d know. Please let me know if you find the book! 🙂

      Like

  4. These are so fun! A group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope. I love that too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Yes! I’d seen a listing a while ago and thought it whimsical and charming. Some of them hit the mark, like the kaleidoscope of butterflies and romp of otters. I wonder who came up with all of these?

      Like

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