Strange collective nouns

This site has lists of collective nouns, but many people are interested in discovering the strange, odd, weird and bizarre collective nouns.

From a peck of Frenchmen to a rhumba of rattlesnakes, there has always been a tradition of funny and peculiar collective nouns, and many of the new ones follow this tradition as well. For example, a culture of bacteria.

On this page we list the strangest collective nouns from across out lists. Please use the comments box to let us know of any others:

  • An enterance of actresses
  • A flange of baboons
  • A culture of bacteria
  • A galaxy of beauties
  • A goring of butchers
  • A soufflé of clouds
  • A murder of crows
  • A fagot of drummers
  • A peck of Frenchmen
  • A helix of geneticists
  • A grope of groupies
  • An unhappiness of husbands
  • A mischief of mice
  • A metamorphosis of ovoids
  • An ambush of tigers
  • A crossing of zebras
  • A charm of finches
  • A tough of lesbians
  • An exaltation of larks
  • A shower of meteorologists
  • An abominable sight of monks
  • A parliament of owls
  • A nucleus of physicists
  • A lechery of priests
  • A rhumba of rattlesnakes
  • An unkindness of ravens
  • A shiver of sharks
  • A sodom of shepherds
  • A hack of smokers
  • A beautification of spatulas
  • A flock of tourists
  • A phalanx of umbrellas
  • A sprig of vegatarians
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    21 thoughts on “Strange collective nouns

    1. It’s a raft of ducks
      A fever of stingrays
      A herd of wrens
      A skein of geese
      A tower of giraffes
      A parade of elephants (though I do rather like a memory of elephants too)
      a conflagration of arsonists
      A scoop of journalists
      A conjuction of grammarians
      A clutch of mechanics
      A thirst of Irish. 😉 (I’m Irish)

    2. Thanks Michelle, I am also Michelle my brother is also Irish. Those were some interesting collective nouns but does anyone know what the collective noun for feather is.

    3. a stock (flock) of feathers
      a swarm of mobs (wasps)
      a buttload of butts
      a ton of masses
      (or a mass of free weights) (or a mass of churches)
      a build up of skyscrapers
      a mountain of holes
      a body of everybody
      a quantity of numbers

    4. “Flange” was never officially a collective noun for baboons, it was made up by writers of the 1980s BBC comedy sketch show “Not the Nine O’Clock News”; the phrase “flange of baboons” was spoken by the great Rowan Atkinson in the role of Gerald the Gorilla. In interviews, the NTNON team have often expressed their amusement that their made-up word fell into common use.

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