Collectively crazy
Collectively crazy
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop

I remember some of the weird collective nouns we were taught in school. Most of them useless. A parliament of owls? And how often do you get to throw “a murder of crows” into regular conversation? “I love this noisy music, kids, it sounds like a murder of crows!” I reckon it’s time we revamped the way collective nouns are taught. The trouble is, I’m not certain if the right ones exist, so I’d like your help in creating some practical parenting ones. Here are some to get you started.

Pregnant moms

I’ve never been pregnant, but I imagine these words would make a good start to describe a ...... of pregnant moms: A belly, a nap or a clutch. I like a clutch- that’s what some pregnant moms do when they smell, say coffee, first thing in the morning during their first trimester- clutch their mouths and rush to the loo. Later on, as they walk around with a huge tummy, they clutch it as if holding baby in.


Too easy! A wail of babies? A burble? How about a leak of babies? Yeah - they leak. Just when you think you have one end covered, you get a nasty surprise from the other. Perhaps that a little cynical - let’s say an awwwww of babies. The collective sound a group of people make when they see a baby can become the collective noun.


Not all of the toddler experience is limited to tantrums, but I suspect a scream or a stamp of toddlers could be highly accurate. Think about the good stuff, too - how about a growth of toddlers, or a chatter of toddlers. A babble. Yes. I like that.


One of the first words kids learn is “no”. But then they learn the concept of asking questions, and you’re doomed. You either learn to defer the endless questions, or you face fights and resistance. I know you’re supposed to be honest, but, well, in my case anyway, I’d call them “a maybe of pre-schoolers”.
You get the gist.


I hope your experience with teens is a positive one, but I also expect that many of you would use a mope, sulk or a blush to describe your tricky teenager, right?

There are probably correct words, but I think it’s more fun to think up some of your own. You could probably be just as creatively accurate as these real collective nouns: A cackle of hyenas, a mess of iguanas and a pandemonium of parrots.

What words would you say most describe your child and your current parenting experience?
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