Sunday, 14 July 2013

A Collection Of Collectives

One of my Minister’s Wife friends recently posted on Facebook about “collective nouns”, and it has set me thinking. Many of the terms for groups of animals and birds date back to mediaeval times – murder of crows, parliament of owls etc [the ‘ducks’ one below seems to be more recent, around 1970]

collective nouns

My friend mentioned two more modern terms for groups of people

an impatience of wives

an ambush of widows

I thought these were both incredibly negative, and I have been thinking about more positive words for groups of people. If people have a good term attached to their group, it inspires them to live up to it.

I know that a group of Baptist Pastors’ Spouses is a Connexion [because I was the one who first came up with that new name for our national fellowship nearly twenty years ago, because ‘connexion’ is an old term for a group of Nonconformist Christians, and the one connection between us is that we are all married to people in some form of Baptist Ministry]

How about this selection?

a faithfulness of wives

a reminiscence of widows

a helpfulness of husbands

an encouragement of deacons

an exuberance of Youth Workers

Can you add any to the list?


  1. A muesli of ministers. They're slightly nutty, slightly fruity, full of fibre and keep you on the move.

  2. PS Not a Baptist minister but a retired Anglican one.

  3. A symphony of musicians?

    (not to mention an embarrasment of bass players!!!)


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