top of page
Gallimaufry - A Quiddity of Collective Nouns

Not Brenda-related - but absolutely the sort of quirky book you'll probably find fascinating - and a great gift for a book-lover!


Collective nouns, or group terms –they’re used so frequently, maybe you never think about them. Why buy a book specifically about something that sounds so dull and dry and smacking of Eng Lang? But Sue Ellery-Hill argues that here there are treasures galore, poetic gems with mysterious origins, jewels of the English language that are worth collecting, savouring, and preserving. Terms such as ‘a blessing of unicorns’, ‘a boogle of weasels’, and ‘a booly of herdsmen’ – terms ancient (some over 500years old, such as ‘a superfluity of nuns’) and modern (‘a google of geeks’) – with a full and humorously-written introduction, copiously illustrated, and all thoroughly catalogued, cross-referenced and indexed for ease of finding.


Sue Ellery-Hill is a doting Cornish granny, a seller of antiques, and a lover of Cornwall, with a passion for words. This book represents many years of her work, collecting the collectives – and now lists the greatest number of collective nouns ever published, running into thousands. Use it for fun, for research, or for idle curiosity – or try to use one new term a day, to keep this rich vein of language flowing!

You could be the owner of a copy of the largest published collection of Collective Nouns on the planet! A great work of reference, with a term for almost everything you can think of...

A5 Paperback, 340 pages, colour cover, b/w inside, 263 b/w illustrations, published by Lulu Publishing, copyright Sue Ellery-Hill 2012.

Gallimaufry - A Quiddity of Collective Nouns

    bottom of page