Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A way with words

As a rule I delete email forwards without opening and reading them, unless they are from someone I know well enough to send me only the good stuff, nothing dark and depressing and morbid. Like this one about anthropomorphic collective nouns for the various groups of animals. But, like most email forwards, this one’s probably all over the internet too. I enjoyed it because it’s one more example why English is a funny language and because it gets funnier towards the end. So here goes…

We are all familiar with

A Herd of Cows

A Flock of Chicken

A School of Fish

A Gaggle of Geese

However, less widely known is:

A Pride of Lions

A Murder of Crows (as well as their cousins the rooks and ravens)

An Exaltation of Doves (presumably because they look so wise)

A Parliament of Owls

Now consider a group of baboons. They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive, and least intelligent of all primates.

So what do you think is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons?

Believe it or not… a Congress of Baboons!

I guess that pretty much explains who we elect to most parliaments and congresses of the world. 


  1. I heard a funny one from Lana, when we saw a limo pull up one night while we were out and a number of Elvis impersonators came out. Lana referred to it as a Limo of Elvi.

  2. That's a good one, Charles. Wonder how many me-Elvis would fit into a limo.