"a murder"

  • stranger in your midst

    Senior Member
    English / Scotland
    English has a panoply of collective terms for animals. However, in my view there is almost no point in learning them. Apart from a few very common terms, like 'a pride of lions', no one uses them. In fact, I believe they were more or less plucked out of thin air by a monk who was writing a treatise on the English language a few centuries ago, and they have virtually no basis in the actual, spoken language. I've heard of 'a murder of crows', and indeed of 'a parliament of rooks', but it would sound ridiculous to use these terms in day to day speech. Much better is 'a flock of crows'.