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Topic: A wedge of swans and other group names< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 9:49 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My wife and I were out hiking around a lake this past weekend and there was a group of swans. One was banded and we got the number. We then sent in the info and the response told us by whom, when and where the swan was banded (2007 in Neceda, WI - which we, by coincidence, visited this summer). Kind of "neat" learning about the bird. We are about 300-350 miles as the bird would fly from Neceda.

Anyway, seeing the group of swans (21) got us curious about what a group of swans is called and in finding that we happened upon a site that listed several grouping names. "Animal Congregations, or What Do You Call a Group of" put out by the USGS is kind of fun and curious. Some we/you know. Give it a try for fun and, perhaps, thinking. We all know a shrewdness doesn't mate with a pace or that that we can't drink a big gulp.

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/about/faqs/animals/names.htm#birds


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 10:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What a bunch of malarkey.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 11:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the link. But I tend to agree with Desert Dweller.

That's a fairly complete list, but I'd forgive about anyone for referring to a "bunch" of cats instead of a "clowder." And I have to wonder about the cultural predjudices that might account for some of the names. For instance, how is a group of eagles so distinguished as to be termed a "convocation," and group of owls a "parliament"?  But crows are considered a "murder," and ravens are an "unkindness"?

I would consider myself fully free to drop many of those terms as cultural relics that don't deserve to be salvaged in light of current discoveries in biology. Crows and ravens are brilliant birds that don't deserve the verbal coloring of older and less enlightened times. The historical terms tend to distort for no good reason. Perhaps they are relics of an agricultural peasantry.

Nonetheless, there seems to be a rich verbal heritage of such terms entertaining to review, here are some other sites:


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 11:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Dec. 05 2012, 11:05 am)
QUOTE
Thanks for the link. But I tend to agree with Desert Dweller.

That's a fairly complete list, but I'd forgive about anyone for referring to a "bunch" of cats instead of a "clowder." And I have to wonder about the cultural predjudices that might account for some of the names. For instance, how is a group of eagles so distinguished as to be termed a "convocation," and group of owls a "parliament"?  But crows are considered a "murder," and ravens are an "unkindness"?

I would consider myself fully free to drop many of those terms as cultural relics that don't deserve to be salvaged in light of current discoveries in biology. Crows and ravens are brilliant birds that don't deserve the verbal coloring of older and less enlightened times. The historical terms tend to distort for no good reason. Perhaps they are relics of an agricultural peasantry.

Nonetheless, there seems to be a rich verbal heritage of such terms entertaining to review, here are some other sites:

Yeah--but a crash of rhinos is very cool.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 11:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And a group of ex-wives being called whores is also really neat.

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(Tigger @ Dec. 05 2012, 10:57 am)
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And a group of ex-wives being called whores is also really neat.

LOL!

I'll keep saying murder of crows, just because of the looks I get when I do.  :)   Several of those names sound like they were contrived just for the sake of completeness.  "Oh, we forgot bitterns! Let's see...(randomly opens the dictionary)...hmmmm. AHA!  'Sedge'...let's use that."


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 1:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I, for one, think the list is fun. Lighten up folks. Smile  :)

Some of my favorites:
A tower of giraffes
A bloat of hippopotamuses
A leap of leopards
A romp of otters
A gulp of cormorants


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

a gaggle of geese.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 1:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's interesting that the fanciful naming of groups has amused people for centuries.
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(big_load @ Dec. 05 2012, 11:26 am)
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It's interesting that the fanciful naming of groups has amused people for centuries.

I'm easily amused  :p  :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 2:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have always liked the “murder of crows” thing, so I looked up Ravens
“An unkindness of ravens” – WTH ?

We have a lot of great-tailed grackles down here(they can be entertaining at times) , but they aren’t on the lists…They look to be similar to magpies, so I’m going to adopt the phase “gulp of grackles”
I’ll be able to remember that one.  It amuses me


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 2:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A kapok of Litemans...

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 3:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hate reference posts like this, and here's why:  Other than the term for a group of ex wives, I'm not going to remember any of them.  And sooner or later the issue will come up in conversation and I'll remember that I once had a link to a website that listed all that information and then I'll spend hours trying to find the reference and won't be able to do so and will then end up cursing for hours about the frustration.

So thanks for nothing, except for getting Tigger to reveal the name for a group of ex wives.  That I won't forget and will probably get to use very regularly at my rod and gun club meetings.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What is the term for a group of ex-husbands/boy friends??

Logically, I suppose it would be "pimps", but somehow I like the Shakespearan ring of "dankish earth-vexing whore masters".   Or, maybe, just "pathetic losers".

What say ye??


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 4:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wouldn't that be a "dumb of men" ?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 4:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like it!  Very appropriate.  Seems like my wife mentioned something about that only yesterday.  

Glad I wasn't listening too closely.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 4:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Dec. 05 2012, 1:11 pm)
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What is the term for a group of ex-husbands/boy friends??

Logically, I suppose it would be "pimps", but somehow I like the Shakespearan ring of "dankish earth-vexing whore masters".   Or, maybe, just "pathetic losers".

What say ye??

A broke of men

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 4:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Confucius say man who has never been married is a man who has never made the same mistake once.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 6:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If all the ex husbands were on a Curling Team they'd be a Rink
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(Tigger @ Dec. 05 2012, 11:57 am)
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And a group of ex-wives being called whores is also really neat.

Nice..

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(Woodswoman @ Dec. 05 2012, 1:27 pm)
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(big_load @ Dec. 05 2012, 11:26 am)
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It's interesting that the fanciful naming of groups has amused people for centuries.

I'm easily amused  :p  :D

Same here. No doubt.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 8:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like that a bunch of kangaroos is called a mob, it reminds me of  home
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 9:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Dec. 05 2012, 4:11 pm)
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What is the term for a group of ex-husbands/boy friends??

Logically, I suppose it would be "pimps", but somehow I like the Shakespearan ring of "dankish earth-vexing whore masters".   Or, maybe, just "pathetic losers".

What say ye??

I'll bet most women would approve of  a "cluster of a**holes".
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(Franco @ Dec. 05 2012, 5:55 pm)
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I like that a bunch of kangaroos is called a mob, it reminds me of  home

I seem to remember from reading some Aussie book that "mob" is what they say down there instead of herd--you have a mob of cattle.  Is that so?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 10:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, mob or drove but  more commonly now we use the term herd

( our Aboriginals use the term mob to denote people that speak their own language also to mean "my people" or "my family". My wife lived for almost a year in a village with about 30 Aboriginals, 5 languages were spoken between them...)
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(RebeccaD @ Dec. 05 2012, 10:22 pm)
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--you have a mob of cattle.

That just doesn't sound right.  A "mob" sounds too crafty or tough to allow itself to fattened and eaten.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 11:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Franco @ Dec. 05 2012, 7:48 pm)
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Yes, mob or drove but  more commonly now we use the term herd

( our Aboriginals use the term mob to denote people that speak their own language also to mean "my people" or "my family". My wife lived for almost a year in a village with about 30 Aboriginals, 5 languages were spoken between them...)

Drove I think is British, so no surprise.  But is "mob" an aboriginal word then?  I am going to have to haul out the OED and see what came first. . . Sounds like mob for a kin-group, taken over to refer to a herd, and taken from there to be an unruly herd if people. .  . Back soon!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 11:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nope.  Looks like it was used in English for a crowd before Aus was colonized.  So are the aboriginals your wife knew using the English word or was it also their own?  Dang, words are endlessly fascinating things!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2012, 12:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"So are the aboriginals your wife knew using the English word or was it also their own?"
Yes, using the English word.
my wife could only understand their English and some Pidgin English, the language often used by them to communicate with community members that speak a different language or dialect.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2012, 4:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

...so, what would a group of "friends" be?  A Giggling?  A Stouper?

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