Copyright 1986 Robert G. Ferrell

Collective Nouns from the 15th Century

Derived from various historical sources

I. Beasts

A herd of hares
A herd of all manner of deer
A herd of swans
A herd of cranes
A herd of curlews
A herd of wrens
A herd of conies
A brace of greyhounds(2)
A lease of greyhounds(3)
A couple of spaniels
A couple of running hounds
A litter of whelps
A kindle of young cats
A bevy of roes
A bevy of quail
A siege of herons
a siege of bitterns
A sore or suce of mallards
A muster of peacocks
A walk of snipes
A pride of lions
A sleuth of bears
A singular of boars
A drift of tame swine
A harass of horses
A harem of mules
A trip of goats
A warm of bees
A route of wolves
A drift of fishes
A dole of turtles
A scale of fish
A leap of leopards
A shrewdness of apes
A skulk of foxes
A nest of rabbits
A labor of moles
A mute of hounds
A stod of mares
A pace of asses
A flock of sheep

II. Birds

An exalting of larks
A watch of nightingales
A charm of goldfinches
A flight of doves
An unkindness of ravens
A clattering of choughs
A dissimulation of birds
A gaggle of geese
A brood of hens
A battling of ducks
A host of sparrows
A cast of hawks(2)
A lease of hawks(3)
A flight of goshawks
A flight of swallows
A building of rooks
A covy of partridges
A spring of teals
A desert of lapwings
A fall of woodcocks
A congregation of plovers
A peep of chickens

III. Dressing of Game

A pig headed and sided
A capon sauced
A crane displayed
A pheasant alete
A quail winged
A quail breasted
A plover cuinsed
A pigeon tied
A brawn leched
A lamb shouldered
A kid shouldered
A hen spoiled
A heron dismembered
A peacock disfigured
A partridge alet
A woodcock tied
A salmon chined
A pike splated
A haddock sided
A sole bined
A tench sauced
An eel trouchened
A breem splaved
A barble tusied
A trout gobbetted

IV. Objects

A couple of pair of bottles
A cluster of grapes
A covert of coats
A cluster of nuts
A cast of bread

V. Humans

A heard of harlots
A bevy of ladies
A riches of matrons
A gaggle of women
A nonpatience of wives
A multiply of husbands
A rout of knights
A host of soldiers
A host of men
A fellowship of yeomen
A state of princes
A thought of barons
A congregation of people
A prudence of vicaries
A superfluity of nuns
A school of clerics
A converting of preachers
A scull of friars
An abominable sight of monks
An example of martyrs
An observance of hermits
A pontifica of prelates
A dignity of canons
A charge of curates
A discretion of priests
A disworhip of scots
A doctrine of doctors
A sentence of judges
A damning of jurors
An eloquence of lawyers
A rascal of boys
A blush of boys
An obesiance of servants
A draught of butlers
A proud showing of tailors
A temperance of cooks
A stalk of fosters
A laughter of ostlers
A glossing of taverners
A malepertness of peddlers
A thrave of threshers
A squat of dawbers
A fighting of beggars
A seat of ushers
An untruth of sumners
A melody of harpers
A poverty of pipers
A tabernacle of bakers
A disguising of tailors
A bleach of souters
A smear of curriers
A cluster of churls
An Incredibility of cuckolds
A faith of merchants
A provision of stewards of houses
A credence of sewers
An embruing of carvers
A blast of hunters
A safeguard of porters
A threatening of courteours
A lying of pardoners
A misbelieve of painters
A lath of carters
A scolding of gamesters
A wandering of tinkers
A worship of writers
A never thriving of jugglers
A feast of brewers
A goring of butchers
A drunken ship of cobblers