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What is the term for a group of things?
December 20, 2011 8:49 PM   Subscribe

What is the term for a group of things?

So you know, you have a _murder_ of crows, an _army_ of frogs, a _pod_ of pelicans, and so on. My question is what is the name of those terms (murder, army & pod)? It seems like there should be a specific name for them, but it's a very difficult thing to google...
posted by doub1ejack to Writing & Language (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Collective noun.
posted by Land Ho at 8:53 PM on December 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Collective names.
posted by blurker at 8:53 PM on December 20, 2011


Terms of venery...or, more generally, collective nouns.
posted by neroli at 8:53 PM on December 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Here's a nice list of collective nouns. http://www.ojohaven.com/collectives/
posted by Land Ho at 8:53 PM on December 20, 2011


Collective nouns

My favorite: an implausibility of gnus.
posted by bondcliff at 8:54 PM on December 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Collective noun.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:54 PM on December 20, 2011


But what do you call a group of collective nouns?

A list?
posted by carter at 9:18 PM on December 20, 2011


You call a group of collective nouns a collection, I assume.
posted by chairface at 9:19 PM on December 20, 2011


Seconding chairface. A collection of collective nouns.
posted by marsha56 at 9:56 PM on December 20, 2011


[Some comments deleted. I know the question's already been answered, but Ask Metafilter is still not for general chatting, as pleasant and fun as this particular topic is. Sorry, kids! ]
posted by taz at 11:36 PM on December 20, 2011


Other terms from science:

- a class (math: group of objects sharing properties and attributes)

- a type (computing science: group of values sharing operators)

- a category (math/computing science: group of functions sharing similar compositional properties)
posted by knz at 1:49 AM on December 21, 2011


On the history of collective nouns.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:18 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somewhat tangentially, here is a collection of "carving verbs" at the ever-amusing Futility Closet...
posted by jim in austin at 5:34 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


doub1ejack: "it's a very difficult thing to google..."

But the first few hits for [murder pod army] give you your answer right away.
posted by turkeyphant at 6:07 AM on December 21, 2011


And if you're interested in an entire book of collective nounts: An Exhaltation of Larks by James Lipton.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:34 AM on December 21, 2011


nounts nouns sheesh
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:42 AM on December 21, 2011


turkeyphant: You're absolutely right; I should have thought to google [murder pod army] from the beginning.

SIDE NOTE: In a time-traveling/paradoxical kind of way, googling that pharse now comes up with this page as the first hit. If only google could return the answers to my questions a day or two before I ask them..
posted by doub1ejack at 8:44 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


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