To people who ask, “What is a group of [insert animals/occupations here] called?”, terms of venery are the collective nouns used to describe a grouping of like items.
While I am familiar with a pride of lions, a murder of crows, a herd of horses, a host of angels, a nest of vipers, a quiver of arrows, and a gaggle of geese, there are more that I was not familiar with, and are apropos or simply curious (understanding the etymology would be very helpful!) Here are a few of my favourites.
A charm of hummingbirds. Appropriately enough, these jewels in flight are simply an extraordinary sight (hmmm, that rhymes). Disregard the fact that the beautiful males (with their gorgeous gorgets) are among the top (or is it bottom) of the deadbeat dads of the avian world. Not so charming.
A blessing of unicorns. How can we have a term of venery for mythological creatures? It would be a miracle to see even one!
An unkindness of ravens. Continuing in the same vein with the larger cousins of crows, this collective noun certainly gives Edgar Allen Poe’s antagonist a bad rap!
A worship of writers. Apparently those who are mighty with the pen are accorded some sort of reverence, but methinks that according “upfront” respect may be a bit premature.
A pass of asses. This hardworking beast of burden has a collective noun that unfortunately rhymes with its name. It just can’t win!
A kindle of kittens. Did Amazon.com have cuteness/adorableness/a-warm-and-fuzzy-feeling in mind when they named their best-selling e-Reader as such?
A damning of jurors. If you’ve ever been called for jury duty, it certainly seems like your soul is spoken for. As well as your time and money.
An impatience of wives. Was this something that Desperate Housewives probably took to heart and exploited. That, and boredom. Not that I ever watched a single episode.
An implausibility of gnus. Gnus, unlike unicorns, really do exist. Personally, I feel that implausibility would be a more apropos term of venery for the unicorns. An immovability of gnus would be better.
A gulp of swallows. Finally! Someone with a great sense of humor was permitted the honour of naming a group of swallows as a gulp.
Need to learn more terms of venery so that you can look good to friends and family? Do what I did — a Google search!
11 thoughts on “A Voyage Through Venery”
What a great selection of collective names. Love the hummingbird, swallows and unicorns! Mind you, as you say, to see one unicorn would be enough! 😉
I agree!! the worship of writers really tickles my funny bone.
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A gulp of swallows. 😀 Great post !
it’s not an original one, but at least I provided colour(ful) commentary. 🙂
hahahahaha… a gaggle of it ! 😀
oh indeed. the other posts I visited just gave the terms of venery, which I felt was a bit anemic. 🙂
I spout commentary with ease! 🙂
And we all gotta find inspiration where we can, right? 😀
this is true! I hope my sense of humour was peeking through in my post, too! 🙂
Yep– It certainly was! 🙂
So interesting and funny!! Makes me want to make up some up….. Thank you for sharing! Val x
I am sure that with the thousands of new words that spring up every year in the English language, there will be many opportunities to do so, if only in tongue-in-cheek! 🙂 🙂 🙂