January, 2012

A cornucopia of collective nouns

I love Woop Studio’s collective noun posters.

These limited edition prints are visual depictions of some of the wonderful terms we use to name groups of things. They’re beautiful to look at as well as revealing quite often charming and evocative words such as:
a zeal of zebras
a blessing of unicorns (which I’m convinced are real by the way. I mean, why bother giving them a collective noun if they don’t exist?)
an aurora of polar bears (yes, really!)
a murder of crows
a murmuration of starlings (what a lovely word!). And my favourite if only because I’ve was privileged to see two of these rare Cornish birds in flight: a chattering or clattering of choughs

I could go on, but I won’t. I’ll just direct you to Woop’s website so you can become obsessed too.


Woop Studios was founded by Miraphora Mina, Eduardo Lima, Harriet Logan, and Mark Faulkner. United by a love of graphic design, words and images they set up Woop to showcase the fascinating and quirky world of collective nouns.

They aim to be the definitive website for anyone who shares their fascination, and who enjoy words, images and learning.

I hope you enjoy them too.

 

We’ve been truly dashelled today! Having fun with Forgotten English

Day five of Jeffrey Kacirk’s Forgotten English page a day calendar, is particularly apt. Today’s word is ‘dashelled’ which means ‘beaten about and wetted by bad weather.’

I was given the calendar for Christmas, and I’m looking forward to unveiling a long forgotten word each day throughout 2012.

I’ve already discovered such gems as ‘toad-under-a-harrow’. Apparently it means a man whose wife not only henpecks, but makes sure the entire world witnesses the indignities he suffers at her hands. And I’ve leapt ahead to the weekend where I found ‘gubbertushed’ – used to describe someone with projecting teeth.

It’s funny how words from long ago seem so much more expressive somehow!

Jeffrey Kacirk was brought up in San Diego. He became fascinated by the dialog and ‘general antiquity’ of Shakespeare’s plays, which he saw performed at the nearby Old Globe Theater. In college he became, “intrigued with European and American social history, especially the languages, activities, and customs.”

He’s included these longtime interests in several books and calendars which you can find on his website, Forgotten English.

His book of the same name contains recipe terms such as dilligrout, and uzzle-pye. Mmm, they both sound frighteningly like descriptions of something I might serve up…

 

 

 

Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

Click here to find out a bit more about me.

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