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|
|Bishops||Bench, Psalter, Sea|
|Chess Players||Board, Brood|
|Dancers||Troupe, Flight (male), Float (female)|
|Dentists||Amalgam, Brace, Wince|
|Drummers||Asylum, Fagot, Roll|
|Fishermen||Drift, Exaggeration, Grumble, Sulk|
|Lawyers||Disputation, Eloquence, Escheat, Greed, Huddle, Quarrel|
|Librarians||Catalogue, Stack, Shush|
|Nuns||Convent, Murmur, Flap, Pray, Superfluity|
|Painters||Curse, Illusion, Misbelieving|
|People||Audience, Crowd, Mob|
|Poets||Lamb, Obscurity, Rhyme|
|Politicians||Lie, Equivocation, Odium|
|Priests||Discretion, Lechery, Mass, Superfluity|
|Prostitutes||Anthology, Stable, Whored|
|Soldiers||Army, Brigade, Company, Division, Muster, Platoon, Troop|
|Tailors||Disguising, Proud Showing|
|Thieves||Den, Gang, Skulk|
|Waiters||Absence, Indifference, Order|
Which group have we left behind?
IMAGE CREDIT: eslforums.com, thesaurus.com
Epa Ogie Eboigbe, veteran journalist, broadcaster and public affairs specialist, writes on, and analyses current and historical issues with a ‘wise pen’.