Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.


A thousand thanks to you verbivorous readers for your billowy mailbag of more than 200 entries responding to my call for innovative group nouns, such as “a brace or orthodontists” and “a constellation of starfish.”  I’m button-burstingly proud to show off a brainstorm of your wordwork below, with many more of your submissions reposing on my website, verbivore.com:

a plague of robocallers, a menagerie of children, an infestation of politicians, a scattering of cats (you can’t herd them), a march of lemmings, a kaleidoscope of peacocks, a posse of bloodhounds, a webwork of spiders, a cacophony of cicadas, a convocation of butterflies –Edwin Jenkins, Oceanside

a thicket of thieves, a promiscuity of prostitutes, an idiocracy of anti-vaxxers, a bloviation of belugas, an obstinancy of asses, sibilation of snakes –George Cavanagh, Lakeside (Note that bloviate means “to speak or write windily, to spout off”)

a miracle of elementary school teachers, a blessing of first responders, a harmony of barbershop quartets, a huddle of football players, a knot of massage therapists, a scam of televangelists, a babble of talk-radio hosts –Ralf Swenson, La Jolla

a lode of miners, a cell of geneticists, a web of surfers, a conflagration of fireflies, an exhalation of puffins, a monarchy of kingfishers, a filibuster of yaks –David Kahan, San Diego

a conclave of felons, a rumor of gossips, a glamour of movie stars, a groan of punsters, a splurge of shoppers, a rumpus of toddlers, a bumble of losers –Linda P. Hughes, Lakeside

a fawning of groupies; a flush of plumbers; a splash of house painters, a club of cavemen, a knot of boy scouts, a flash of photographers, a draft of doormen -Andy and Debbie Attwood, Kensington

a block of writers, a pack of smokers, a faction of journalists, a gaggle of Covid testers, a knot of naysayers, a band of aides –Tom and Kay Sanger, La Jolla

a pile of proctologists, a collection of repo men, a flurry of snowboarders, a strip of nudists –Doug Miller, La Jolla

a collection of IRS agents, an assembly of Lego builders, a string of dental floss users, a fixture of mechanics, an outpouring of bartenders. –Michael Clark, Escondido

a waggle of dogs, a mine of goldfish, a hilarity of clownfish, a magnificence of peacocks, a taming of shrews -Steve Laub, La Mesa

a cataract of ophthalmologists, a brief of lawyers, a prevarication of liars, a lexicon of verbivores – Bill Collins, Tierrasanta, and Lloyd Uber, Kearny Mesa

a colony of bacteriologists, a magma of volcanologists, a sum of accountants, a strike of editors, a raft of lifeguards, a podium of Olympians, a production of podcasters -Janet R. Green, Tierrasanta

a liberal sprinkling of Democrats, a healthy dose of pharmacists, a chapel of Padres, a Breen of losing cartoon captions, a morgue of anti-vaxxers, an asylum of conspiracy theorists –Wayne A. Zucker, Escondido

a snaggle of orthodontists, a rotunda of sumo wrestlers, a range of cowboys, a compilation of computer programmers, a wave of surfers –Dan Worrells, Lake San Marcos

a body of masseuses, a string of violinists, a harmony of singers, a pondering of philosophers -Leslie Bercovitz, Bankers Hill

an absence of dodos, a bomb of skunks, a chaos of monkeys, a dash of roadrunners, a float of hippos, a grace of swans, a mess of swine, a recollection of elephants, a spring of kangaroos –Howard Killion, Oceanside

a web of ducks, a knot of hairstylists, a mass of physicists, –Yvonne Hempsey, Rancho Bernardo

a palace of kingbirds, a coffee shop of swallows, a candle of flickers , a race of swifts, a museum of waxwings, a staircase of terns –Phil Pryde, San Carlos (Phil is apparently both a bird watcher and a word botcher!)

an arrogance of aristocrats, a flutterby of butterflies, a squadron of pilot fish, a curiosity of cats –Bert Wortham, Vista

a silence of mimes, a pyramid of financial advisors –Jim Kleyn, Santee

a lair of liars, a gaggle of gossips, a family a conspiracy of creeps, an excess of idiots –Peggy Lipscomb-Kazwara, Ocean Beach

a flamboyance of flamingos, a tremble of fraidy cats, a hacking of computer pirates, an expectation of procrastinators -Neil Proffitt, Oceanside


Here are more innovative group nouns that San Diego Union-Tribune readers submitted for my July 10th “Lederer on Language” column.

Doug Miller, of La Jolla, came up with a collective term for “certain-named folks involved in scandals or awkward situations, such as Richard Nixon, Marc Rich, Dick (Richard) Cheney (gunshot accident), Keith Richards (drug scandal), Richard Moss, et al. an embarrassment of Riches!

The tsunami (note that an anagram of tsunami is “I am nuts!”) of submissions were such an embarrassment of riches that, in addition to the gems in my “Lederer on Language” column. I share here additional group nouns that you’ve winged me:

a theorem of scientists, a code of programmers, a study of valedictorians, a brain of nerds, a stagger of zombies –Susie Martin, Clairemont

a drill of dentists, a division of extremists, a geyser of geezers, a storm of troopers –Stewart and Barbara Strait, North Clairemont

a tantrum of two-year-olds, a cuddle of puppies, a bosom of plastic surgeons –Anne Blankenship, Point Loma

a prestidigitation of magicians, a column of accountants, a saltation of grasshoppers –Deborah Lessard, Spring Valley

a slime of mollusks, a séance of ghostwriters -Teresa Baggot Roberts, Encinitas

a blather of politicians, a whiff of skunks –Mark Hartman, San Diego

a muse of musicians, a friar of sizzling Padres –Richard Rachel, University City

a mount of rock climbers, a flotilla of ducks, a bombardment of pigeons, an annihilation of climate-change deniers –Ross A. Watkins, Ramona

a calculation of mathematicians, a party of politicians, a gossip of party liners. -Sybil Rogert, Imperial Beach

a whored of prostitutes, a splatter of modern artists, –John Hardesty, Oceanside

a school of teachers, a ruckus of grandkids, a giggle of girls -Bill Goddard, Clairemont

a patchwork of quilters, a spike of railroaders. –Rudy Spano, Clairemont

a prom of penguins -Lyn Leister, Scripps Ranch; a maggot of bigots –Todd Hoover, La Jolla; a bafflegab of lawyers –Steve Miller, La Jolla; a keg of bros. –Lisa and Ron Clarke, San Diego; a bias of journalists -Ron Lustig, Solana Beach; a square of cubists –Byron Lowry -Coronado; a giggle of goslings -Paul Sims, Solana Beach; a mess of hoarders –Steve Burriesci, Bird Rock

a slapstick of stooges –Dan Hoffman, Jamul; a quarrel of jurors –Dann and Leslie Nielsen, Escondido; an odor of skunks, Bill Torres, La Mesa; a wiggle of worms –James Huizenga, Clairemont; a tangle of worms, Estelle Voelker, La Mesa; a trek of tarantulas – Sherry Worthen, Serra Mesa

a glut of overeaters, a pack of movers, a box of kangaroos, a queue of pool players, a herd of loudmouths, a score of sports fans –Christopher Boyle, Glendale, Arizona