The Coordinated Origins of Collective Nouns

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?

Collective Nouns
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.