Word Ways


In the 14th and 15th centuries, a large number of so-called "nouns of multitude" made their way into the English language. Most of them were colorful designations for groups of birds and animals. Surviving to the present day are such surprising expressions as "a shrewdness of apes," "an exaltation of larks," "a skulk of foxes," and "a murmuration of starlings."