Cool Collective Nouns

 In Rules and Usage

Learning English can be fun, especially when it comes to collective nouns!

These are nouns that stand for a collection of people, animals or things, that can be referred to as one entity.  The most common method of doing this is by using words like ‘group’ or ‘bunch’ that can be applicable to most of the nouns in the language today.
But there are some specific names given to certain groups of nouns to make things more interesting and funny.  Let’s say it is the English language at its most eccentric. The origin of these terms lies in English literature and cultural traditions.

Collective Nouns Examples

Common collective nouns:

a bevy of beauties

A bevy of beauties

A class of students

An army of soldiers

A band of musicians

A bunch of crooks

A bevy of beauties

A gang of thieves

A team of players

A panel of experts

You get the picture

Collective nouns which relate to the Holiday Season:

An aurora of polar bears

A drift of snow

A herd of reindeer

A prettying of doves

A huddle or colony of penguins

An aurora of polar bears

A host, choir, chorus, flight of angels

An assembly of toys

A crush of shoppers

A covey of partridges

An evensong of choirboys

But what would you call a group of Santas?  Wiki-answers suggests “a sack of Santas.”  Our web search also came up with “a flock of white Xmas trees” and “a boo of surprises.”  It looks like a good collective noun is only limited by one’s wacky imagination!

Collective nouns for animal groupings.  Here’s where things become pretty wild!

collective nounsA bloat of hippopotami

A crash of rhinoceroses

Finally, a joke that plays on collective nouns:

In New Zealand, there was a TV advert in which a visitor tries to impress a farmer while surveying his prize herd of cows. “Nice flock of cows”, he comments, to which the farmer replies, “Herd of cows!”

The foreigner retorts, “Yes I have actually. Heard of chickens?”

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