Even though I’ve long been familiar with expressions like a pack of wolves, a murder of crows and a pride of lions I never realized just how many of these there were until now. Here’s a selection, with many more at the link:
A congregation of alligators A shrewdness of apes A cloud of bats A sleuth of bears A clowder of cats A bask of crocodiles A badling of ducks A convocation of eagles A gang of elk A leash of foxes A tower of giraffes An array of hedgehogs A bloat of hippopotamuses A cackle of hyenas A mess of iguanas A smack of jellyfish A leap of leopards A suit of mallards A parliament of owls A pandemonium of parrots An unkindness of ravens A crash of rhinoceroses A scurry of squirrels An ambush of tigers A knot of toads
(They’d all be excellent band names too, so dibs on Parliament of Owls!)
A month or so ago I happened to to use the phrase “murder of crows” in re-telling of a story that involved an incident from my childhood to a group of colleagues. Needless to say there were a few interesting reactions just to that particular use of ‘collective noun’.
And yes, “Parliament of Owls” sounds like an excellent follow up band to “Department of Eagles”
Steve and I were talking about children one time, and he said the problem with children is that they carry your heart with them. The exact phrase was, “It’s your heart running around outside your body.” That’s a Steve Jobs quote. He had a level of perception about feelings and emotions that was far beyond anything I’ve met in my entire life.
Wabi originally referred to the loneliness of living in nature, remote from society; sabi meant “chill”, “lean” or “withered”. Wabi now connotes rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects, or understated elegance. Sabi is beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs.