lenten journal: words that say together


As I, like many have mourned the death of James Lipton, who hosted Inside the Actors’ Studio, I learned he wrote a book, An Exaltation of Larks, which is a “lovingly curated ode to the unique collective nouns that adorn our language.” As a way to honor him, and because I, too, love collective nouns–words that describe what it means to be together–here is a list–not all of which are official:

a bloat of hippos (you knew I’d start there)
a crash of rhinos
a leap of leopards
a tuxedo of penguins
a shrewdness of apes
a sleuth of bears
a scurry of chipmunks
a tenacity of schnauzers
a committee of vultures
a knot of toads
an ambush of tigers
a prickle of porcupines
a cupboard of pandas
a romp of otters
a mischief of mice
a horde of hamsters
an aurora of polar bears
a bellowing of bullfinches
a blessing of unicorns
a bob of seals
a yap of chihuahuas
a slide of slugs
a stench of skunks
a pint of mussels
a passel of possums
a delay of sloths
a fan of peacocks
a leash of greyhounds
a scourge of mosquitos
an annoyance of gnats
a hover of trout
a flamboyance of flamingos
a percussion of woodpeckers
a wiggle of worms
a charm of hummingbirds
a business of ferrets
a laugh of hyenas
a tusk of walruses
a bark of dogfish
a shock of eels
a congregation of alligators

Then I thought of a few I would like to see:

an embarrassment of politicians
an assignment of teachers
a chord of musicians
a fret of guitarists
a litany of ministers
a recipe of chefs
an stress of parents
a jubilation of children

Feel free to add your own.



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