Collective noun/Talk

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In a break from usual tradition of "edit as you see fit" I'm going to ask people to list new candidate nouns here. I am running an Access database which generates the table scripts automatically - it is a lot easier than scrolling through all that wiki-code.

If you modify or correct something, could you also list it here, so I can edit the database. If anyone wants the db, just email me (address is on my personal page). It's currently only 200K in size.

Please list candidates here. If you can find a dictionary reference for it, please say so. Many collective nouns are obscure and archaic - hence a citation from any (respectable) dictionary will be deemed to validate the term.

If you know the term is spurious, then say so. I have no problem listing spurious nouns, so long as they are clearly marked as such. Things like "a clutch of mechanics" have humour value, even if illegitimate. - MMGB

Nice one, Manning, I wish I'd thought of doing this! I'll put some more up for the collection, and many thanks for your help with this. sjc

- shelfful of books
- carpet of flowers
- drift of snow 
- stack of papers, cards
- arsenal of weapons
- hail of bullets
- coil of stamps 
- tissue of lies
- circle of friends
- trail of tears
- growth of trees
- series of games
- hand of cards
- pack of cards
- can of worms - I think this only refers to a problematic situation, and is not a collective term for worms
- sleeze of sponges (possible spelling issues)


This should live on collective noun, shouldn't it? And, given that we're not going to have subpages, all the subpages could conveniently live on, e.g., collective nouns sorted by subject and collective nouns for birds. --LMS

Oh bugger. - MMGB

Sorry, really I am. :-) --LMS


This is a cool idea. Anthology of prostitutes. Heh, heh. Not brilliant prose, but I just wanted to contratulate you, Manning. I think it's good work! <>< tbc


Actually, I originally started this Talk page to try to get a better definition of the subject at hand. I gave a couple of examples that I thought might be questionable, thinking that they might have been omitted for a definite reason. They weren't really intended as suggested additions, but rather to try to identify the scope of the subject. Partly this was because lots of obvious ones were missing. For example, deck of cards is included, but not stack of cards, or pile of cards, or hand of cards. Am I to understand that all these should be included, but the list just isn't yet complete? -HWR

Always assume the list isn't complete. - MMGB


- drift of snow - isn't this singular?

Wouldn't that exclusion also apply to:

- anthology of prose
- heap of trash
- slew of homework
- wad of money

hmmm... fair comment. - MMGB

Prose, money and those


I've got a list I've had lying around on my hard drive for quite a while, which was based off of information in Paul Hellweg's "Insomniac's Dictionary." Rather than check the existing lists and cull out duplicates, though, I figured I'd let you do all the hard work for me with your fancy-dancy database. :)

Paul has a whole whack of references at the back of his book, but doesn't specify which ones these came out of. Still, the book seems well-researched, so perhaps it counts as a suitable reference on its own.

(long list deleted, one by one...) Every single item you listed was already included, except for the one listed below. I'm waiting for opinions as to what to do with this one.

Wolves	Route - currently listed as "rout". couldn't find a citation for "route"
Looks like a typo or an American unfamiliar with the English word "rout" to me... I always thought it was a rout of wolves, myself. sjc
BTW:

a quarrel of crossbow bolts

sjc

Also, Manning, I notice that goldfinches are no longer referenced as a charm. I have always referred to them as a charm (we get about twenty or so of them at a time in our garden in summer sometimes), and so does everyone else I know who knows what they're on about! They are perfectly delightful. I am reinstating the most prevalent usage of charm as a collective noun (in my neck of the woods at any case). sjc