a bevy of stretch marks


Senior Member
Hello. Could you please tell me if "a bevy of something" means "lots of something"? If so, is it poetic or can it be used in a regular conversation instead of "lots of"? Thank you.

And that even if our bodies entail a little sagging or a bevy of stretch marks (or even some scars), there's no need for the cameras, the general public, potential paramours -- or even our own selves -- to turn away in disgust. psychologytoday.com
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's in the dictionary bevy. The WordReference dictionary suggests that AE and BE usages differ. I find "a bevy of stretch marks" decidedly odd - odd enough for me to think it bizarre.


    Senior Member
    It's in the WR dictionary.
    bevy: a large group or collection: a bevy of sailors.

    It isn't particularly poetic and yes, you can use it in conversation but you're unlikely to hear it in a casual or informal one.


    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I agree with Andygc. The writer is probably trying to be colourful, and just succeeds in sounding strange.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    With Google Ngrams, I compared the frequency of the occurrence of bevy of in the 20th century with the noun "antiquary" - not a common noun. CLICK HERE

    The results shows that bevy is uncommon in BE and AE and usually is collocated with some sort of girls or women.


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Well, it isn't exactly dead. I just would like to see it used knowledgeably. I would say "a bevy of females" would have been a perfectly legitimate metaphor in the pre-sexism days.:p I'm sure there are many others. Admittedly it's a difficult word to work with.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with #2, #4 and #9. The only relevant phrase that rings any bells with me is a bevy of beauties.

    Now, if it was a bevvy, that would be a different matter! :)


    Senior Member
    British English
    When I saw "bevy of sailors" in the Random House definition I laughed. A bevy of Wrens maybe (pre 1993), but I can't imagine a group of hairy, bearded matelots in frocks.

    For non-BE speakers, Wrens = WRNS = Women's Royal Naval Service.
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