The elegantly loquacious linguist Rob Watts of RobWords looks at the origins of highly descriptive collective nouns within the English language, specifically how such disparate words were used to describe a group of the same thing. Examples include a gaggle of geese, a murder of crows, a school of fish, a pride of lions, a murmuration of starlings, and a skulk of foxes.
English has all kinds of silly and strange words for when a load of one thing hang out with one another. …These collective nouns, as they’re known, raise many questions. Like what’s so murderous about a murder of crows? How can a school of fish be a school? And where on earth did all these come from?