Collective Names For People & Professions: Which Group Do You Belong To?

Collective Names For People & Professions: Which Group Do You Belong To?

*A Quarrel of Lawyers

*A Lie of Politicians

*A Lechery of Priests

*A Gang of Thieves

*A Wunch of Bankers

Recall the internet meme that has been circulating in the last few years about the collective names for animals?

A “Parliament” of baboons! An ‘Exaltation’ of doves! A ‘Murder’ of Crows, bla, bla, bla. The groupings are all wrong, of course – probably someone trying to attract attention or play some prank.

But animals do have names or collective nouns for groupings and bands as they go together.

And so do humans.

Groups, associations or families of more than one person are recognised with collective nouns in the English language with words that are even more colourful than those of animal groupings.

Some of the nouns or terms are quite old, while others are newer and have become accepted after growing in use.

Many of the collective nouns for people are based around occupations and professions, while others are based on family, gender, nationality and other distinct descriptions.

As expected, there is no agreement for one name for some groups or occupations because of their unique or controversial nature, and I doubt they like the nicknames. And guess the professions? Yes, you are right – such groups include politicians and lawyers; they are called several names, unlike others where the English language is very straight forward.

For instance, lawyers may collectively be called A Disputation of Lawyers, An Eloquence of Lawyers or A Quarrel of Lawyers. Politicians, on the other hand, can be communally be referred to as A Lie of Politicians, An Equivocation or An Odium of Politicians. Multiple collective nouns also apply to Priests who are referred to as A Discretion, A Lechery, A Mass or A Superfluity of Priests. Actors, soldiers and nuns also have several collective names. The name for a group of bankers is not very complimentary – a Wunch of Bankers. A Wunch means a group of unpleasant people and I doubt bankers would be very happy with this.

Take a look at the collective nouns for your profession or group and see if you agree with the English collective noun assigned to it.

Academics A Faculty of Academics
Acrobats A Troupe of Acrobats
Actors Cast, Company, Condescension, Cry, Queue
Actresses Entrance
Arsonists Conflagration
Artistes Troupe
Athletes Team
Bakers Tabernacle




Barmen Promise
Barons Thought
Barristers Boast, Wiggery
Bastards Shower
Beaters Squad
Beauties Bevy, Galaxy
Beggars Fighting
Bishops Bench, Psalter, Sea
Boys Plush, Rascal
Boy Scouts Troop
Brewers Feast
Bureaucrats Shuffle
Butchers Goring
Butlers Sneer
Candidates Slate
Canons Chapter, Dignity
Capitalists Company, Syndicate
Cardinals College
Carpenters Pound
Catholics Mass
Cheerleaders Array
Chess Players Board, Brood
Churchgoers Congregation
Clerks Rookery, School
Clowns Alley, Pratfall
Cobblers Cutting, Drunkship
Comedians Gaggle, Riot
Cooks Hastiness
Cowboys Cavy, Saunter
Critics Shrivel
Curs Cowardice
Dancers Troupe, Flight (male), Float (female)
Deans Decanter, Decorum
Decorators Tantrum
Dentists Amalgam, Brace, Wince
Dermatologists Rash
Designers Set, Subtlety
Directors Board
Doctors Doctrine
Drummers Asylum, Fagot, Roll
Employees Staff
Englishmen Pound
Experts Discord, Panel
Fishermen Drift, Exaggeration, Grumble, Sulk
Followers Trail
Frenchmen Peck
Friends Party
Gamblers Talent
Generals Glitter
Geneticists Helix
Geologists Conglomerate, Formation
Geometrists Plane
Germans Gross
Girl Guides Company
Girls Giggle
Golfers Lie, Tedium
Goons Plunder
Gossips Gaggle
Gossip columnists Slither
Governesses Galaxy
Graduate students Fortitude
Grammarians Conjunction
Grandparents Nag, Wisdom
Groupies Grope
Gym instructors Set
Gymnasts Troupe
Gynaecologists Smear
Gypsies Store
Hackers Cruft
Hairdressers Set, Swish
Harlots Herd
Harpists Melody
Hedonists Debauchery
Heirs Expectation
Hermits Observance
Homosexuals Ensemble
Hoodlums Gang
Horsemen Cavalcade
Hunters Blast
Husbands Multiply, Unhappiness
Impressionists Blur
In-laws Imposition
Interpreters Tounge
Irishmen Pint
Italians Explosion
Joggers Wheeze
Journalists Scoop, Slant
Judges Bench, Sentence
Jurors Damning
Knights Banner, Rout
Ladies Bevy
Lawyers Disputation, Eloquence, Escheat, Greed, Huddle, Quarrel
Lecturers Drift
Lepers Colony
Lesbians Tough
Liberals Pink
Librarians Catalogue, Stack, Shush
Listeners Audience
Magicians Illusion
Magistrates Bench
Mathematicians Number, Set
Matrons Riches
Majors Morbidity
Mechanics Clutch, Torque
Men Band
Merchants Faith
Messengers Diligence
Metallurgists Amalgamation
Meteorologists Shower
Microbiologists Colony
Midwives Expectation
Minstrels Troupe
Models Slouch
Monks Abominable Sight
Mothers Consternation
Mothers-in-law Mutter
Mourners Cortege
Musicians Band, Orchestra
Narcissists Mug, Reflection
Natives Tribe
Nazis Jungle
Nieces Squeal
Nuns Convent, Murmur, Flap, Pray, Superfluity
Nymphomaniacs Spread
Officers Mess, Execution
Onlookers Crowd
Orthodontists Brace
Orthopaedists Brace, Cast
Osteopaths Joint
Painters Curse, Illusion, Misbelieving
Paparazzi Flash
Parents Embarrassment, Persistence
Pathologists Body
Patients Virtue
People Audience, Crowd, Mob
Percussionists Meter
Performers Troupe/Troup
Philosophers Confusion, Ponder
Photographers Clique, Snap
Physicians College
Physicists Nucleus
Pianists Pound
Pilots Crew, Yoke
Plumbers Flood, Flush
Poets Lamb, Obscurity, Rhyme
Police Posse
Politicians Lie, Equivocation, Odium
Preachers Converting,  Pontification
Priests Discretion, Lechery, Mass, Superfluity
Prisoners Gang, Pity
Professors Pomposity
Programmers Archive, Bloat
Prostitutes Anthology, Stable, Whored
Psychoanalysts Complex
Psychologists Complex
Public speakers Twaddle
Radiologists Series
Refugees Flight
Reviewers Pan
Rioters Melee
Robbers Band
Sailors Crew, Deck
Salesmen Sample
Schoolboys Rout
Scots Clan, Disworship
Seamstresses Scolding
Senators House
Sergeants-at-law Subtlety
Servants Obeisance
Shepherds Sodom
Sheriffs Posse
Shoemakers Blackening
Shoppers Crush
Singers Choir
Smokers Billow, Hack
Soldiers Army, Brigade, Company, Division, Muster, Platoon, Troop
Students Class
Swingers Bed
Tailors Disguising, Proud Showing
Teachers Quiz
Teenagers Attitude, Grunt
Thieves Den, Gang, Skulk
Trustees Board
Tourists Flock
Undertakers Unction
Vegetarians Sprig
Vicars Prudence
Waiters Absence, Indifference, Order
Walkers Amble
Webmasters Linkage, Net
Widows Ambush
Witches Coven
Wives Impatience
Women Gaggle
Workmen Gang
Worshippers Congregation
Wrestlers Clutch, Crunch
Writers Worship
Yeoman Fellowship


Which group have we left behind?


Epa Ogie Eboigbe, veteran journalist, broadcaster and public affairs specialist, writes on, and analyses current and historical issues with a ‘wise pen’.




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