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Re: Terminology ?

Posted by Masakim on November 11, 2001

In Reply to: Re: Terminology ? posted by Bruce Kahl on November 11, 2001

: : Is there a term(Name) for phrases like:
: : A pride of lions , pod of whales, muster of peacocks, flock of birds, gaggle of geese etc etc?

: They are called "collective nouns".

Collective Noun also collective
A noun referring to a group of people, animals, or things, and occurring in the singular with a singular or plural verb: army, audience, couple, family, government, group. ... Collective nouns are sometimes called group nouns and the collective label is sometimes applied to plural-only words such as cattle, clothes, people, police, although these are not collective nouns as such. There are many collectives in popular and technical use for naming groups of people, animals, or things. Some are familiar to most people, such as a bench of magistrates, a flight of stairs, a flock of sheep, a swarm of bees; others are less well known (and of uncertain provenance), such as an exaltation of larks and an unkindness of ravens. ...
From The Oxford Companion to the English Language by Tom McArthur

See "Collective Terms for Animals" at
http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/collective/