Hey, welcome to the short stuff, I'm Josh Clark. There's Charles Touby, Chuck Bryant, and this is short stuff.
There's a hardness of podcasters working together right now.
I wonder what. Yeah, I had a feeling that was coming. I just didn't know what you're going to use. What would you have said? I don't know. I have no idea. I didn't think about it enough. But I will say this. I didn't either.
I know you're just you're quick witted. I'm not OK. I'm dumb.
No, uh, I love this stuff so much. For a second, I thought we were talking about foie gras. You know, I love this stuff. I love words, as you know, I love etymology, etymology, entomology, etymology, etymology.
I love where they come from. I love everything about the nouns of assemblage, which is what we're talking about, which is if you've ever heard a murder of crows or a hairy awareness of podcasters, a of Henderson Manderson's, that's called a noun of assemblage, which is a great band name.
And I know I say that a lot, but that really is a great band. Name the nouns of assemblage.
I think so, yeah. But what would it be that feels like sort of shoegaze niños to me. OK. Yeah.
I was going to say like kind of early to college rock. Yeah. Yeah. Noun's of assemblage opening for solo dive.
Exactly. But that's what we're talking about here. And we're going to talk about a lot of the specific ones, but also the story of how these came about for the most part.
Yeah, it turns out that there was a book that came out in 14, 86 that kicked off this kind of craze that lasted a little while, basically said, hey, you know how there's no such thing as teenagers or college yet?
Well, we're going to fourchette all that by coming up with some word gags with this book of St. Albans, which is basically a gentleman's guide to things like hunting dog breeds, heraldry, sporting, just that kind of like falconry, falconry with the kind of like 15th century like guide to manliness is basically what it was.
Yeah, man, I want a copy of this. I looked online to buy one. It's it's not affordable, but they do have it. They do have a PDF. OK, you go, because my first thought was, man, I'm going to buy one of these and send it to John Hodgman like he would totally appreciate this. Sure. But yeah, I might just print and bind the PDF and send it to him instead. Like, I don't know, I think Hodgeman would appreciate it.
I don't think it would sink in to him that you would like taking out a second mortgage on your house to buy him that book. You know, not going to happen. I think the PD's going to be just fine.
Yeah. So we said Noun's of assemblage. They can also be called terms of victory and they're linked to Norman culture. A lot of them came about from hunting and things like fishing and falconry that we're talking about. Right.
Like Ventry actually means hunting. Oh, it does. Yeah. And that that middle English, it also means sex in middle English, which is a weird combo if you think about it. Like what kind of enemy are you asking me for right now.
Exactly. We're going to be hunting foxes or hunting foxes.
They say both.
Well, this book has a lot of stuff in it, but there is a chapter called and this is 14 86.
So there's a lot of whys where you would see eyes like Chaucer style.
So the companies of Beasties and Fowlie is, which is a great, great chapter title.
And they basically it sounds like a bunch of dudes in the 4400 sat around, drank a lot of booze and had a good old time making up these nouns of assemblage. Right. Which is really cute in a way. I mean, there's a lot of cuteness to the fact that this was ever like a big deal. But some of the things that we talk about today, like a host of angels or shock of corn or a panel of judges like all of those come from, if not this book, the little kind of trend in making up nouns of assemblage that the book kicked off.
Yes. So you've got a sleuth of bears, a skunk of foxes. It also tells you a little bit about the time in that both women and geese were gaggles. Mm hmm.
But if you have a group of wives, a group of married women together, they're an impatience of wives or neun patients in middle English. Seems kind of Dutch to me, but I guess they're both derived from Germanic writers where a worship of writers.
So they clearly thought a lot about their own talents. Mm hmm. A congregation of churchgoers, a staff of employees, all those kind of came from this whole thing. So there is like a lot of words that we came up with or that was that this book put out or the trend came up with that we still use today. But because they were terms of Ventry, it was mostly meant for animals. So like the fact that humans were showing up in here, it all was meant to be kind of like a joke, like a bit of satire, because the terms were meant to be nouns of assemblage for animals specifically.
And I think it became sort of a just popular trend period outside of this book. And younger people started making these things up and it just became a bit of a fad for a little while.
It did. It was kind of like it was like stuffing yourself into phone booths, 15th century style. That's right. You want to take a break real quick and then we'll just come back and say some more of these because it's a lot of fun to do. Agreed. OK.
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Listening to humans, growing stuff on the radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast. All right, start it off, Chuck. All right, we'll go to birds. There are a lot of them for birds because they hunted birds and birds are everywhere. So that's where we get murder of crows. I think that's one of the more common ones that people know.
And unkindness of Ravens, which I had heard before, and that they kind of make a point here in this HowStuffWorks article that it really indicates like the gaggle of women and geese is how they felt about these things. Yeah. So murder and unkindness for these two birds that people don't really like where you'll have a charm of finches because they're super cute.
That's one of my favorites. It's a good one. There's also a College of Cardinals, which for some reason to me is really evocative, like it really brings to mind a bright red cardinal. For some reason it does. So I like that one. Yeah, I think that's kind of part of it. You know, it's supposed to really be evocative, too, although some of them are clearly jokey, a mustering of storks. Who knows? But it's worth mentioning, right?
Yeah. There's one that C.S. Lewis coined that's actually now considered in dictionaries as the proper way to, say, a group of owls.
That's a parliament. Yeah, that one's pretty cool, too. Yeah. Way to go, C.S. Lewis.
Let me see here. You've got insects, a swarm of bees stuck around. There are not a ton of nouns of assemblage for insects, though. Yeah. Business of flies, which I'd never heard of if you have a bunch of lice. What's it called? A flock of lice. Which is. That's just creepy.
Yeah. I think they should have gone with a beard of bees. Yeah. But that of a swarm. Yeah. And then there's some of the cutest ones are reserved for baby versions of our pets. Domesticated animals like a kindle of kittens. I looked up the puppies one. You ready for this to piddle of puppies.
And it's because of why you think it is.
I'm glad I know that now, because I often tell the story of when I got my dog who was no longer with us. Buckley Mm hmm. I went to the shelter and there was a pile of puppies all together in a little ball.
And he's the only one who peeled away from that piddle. Oh, and came over to me. So I was like, you're the one, you're the one.
But now I know piddle of puppies. That's great. Accreted is pretty great.
Um, what else, Chuck? There's wild animals, a pride of lions or wisdom of wombats which not heard before. Yeah.
I mean, you've also got dogs. A pack of dogs was one, but dogs had a bunch of them because dogs were pets and they were hunting friends. And so there were you could have a kennel of dogs, a pack of dogs, a cry or a mute of dogs.
Yeah, those were just the hunting hounds in particular. There's also a gang legion meet of dogs. Yeah. Ameet of dogs. It sounds like they're up to something, you know. Yeah.
And although you may have a kindle of kittens, once those kittens grow up, they become a Cloudera of and that's clode w denr of cats, a clatter of cats, which is better than a chowder of cats really.
I said some of the wild animals already but the if you notice the flies group was called the business of flies. There's also a business of ferrets. And really it makes a lot of sense because its business is derived from busyness, like something that's busy and moving about and everything, which really does apply to both a bunch of flies and a bunch of ferrets to see. Some of these were kind of right on a game of whales. Seems a little out of the blue.
Yeah, a trickle of hedgehogs makes sense. A bloat. A bit of hippos makes sense. Sure. But what about in obstinance and obstinacy of Buffalo?
Yeah, that makes sense. They're kind of immovable, you know. I guess so.
So I say I propose that we stop for now, but we start a spinoff podcast where every episode we just spend an hour saying these things. OK, yeah.
And if you want to ever go on Jeopardy, I would recommend memorizing all of them.
Yeah. Agreed. Agreed. And if you want to know more about these, you can go on to HowStuffWorks dot com and look at this really great article. And since we said that everybody short stuff is out. Stuff you should know is production of radios HowStuffWorks for more podcasts, My Heart Radio, is it the radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows?