So. Background.

The official definition of an “iguana” (as used here) refers to whatever thing you really don’t feel like doing.

Stupid, crappy, annoying things that refuse to stop being things.

I’ve written about my iguanaccountability days. And, most recently, about my gigantic scary pile of iguanas and doom.

And then Holly told me (yes, on Twitter, that’s how people tell me things) that she had recently learned that the proper name for a group of iguanas is a mess.

How ridiculously perfect is that? I love Holly.

A mess. Of iguanas. Yes.

Which sent me on the most delightful wild internet goose chase to find out more.

Note about goose-chasing versus geese-chasing: As soon as you get into collective nouns, we’re talking about a gaggle of geese if they’re on the ground, but it’s a skein of geese if they’re in flight.

I don’t know what the collective noun situation for “wild goose chase” is but I’m going to refer to it as a whispering. A whispering of wild goose chases. Oh yes.


I can’t not share this, of course.

Here are some of the extremely awesome things that happen to perfectly ordinary creatures when they gang up in groups.

It reads like a children’s book. Or the best accidental poem ever.

A rhumba of rattlesnakes
A dissimulation of birds

An audience of squids
A rumpus of baboons

A knot of toads
A battery of barracuda

A streak of tigers
An array of hedgehogs

A sneak of weasels
A squirm of worms

A file of civil servants
An army of caterpillars

A conspiracy of ravens
A convocation of eagles

A murmuration of starlings
A badling of ducks

A blaze of dragons

You realize where this is going, I assume.

Remember when we named the moons? And then we named the rain?

That was fun.

So of course now I have to come up with collective nouns for everything in my business.

Because I will not be able to get any work done ever again unless I do this.

Shall we?


A gaggle of Glossaries

A flailing of Shivanauts

A whooshing of epiphanies

A scramble of Friday Chickens

A congregation of Chickeneers

A trumpeting of Fake Bands of the Week

An assembling of Helper Mice

A calvacade of Commenter Mice

A den of Destuckification

A swooping of Fairy Godmothers

An invisibility cloak of Beloved Lurkers

Play with me!

I know I’ve probably missed a bunch of things that totally deserve naming.

And you can probably come up with alternative names that beat the hell out of everything I’ve got so far.

Or maybe you want to invent collective nouns for stuff in your own life. Works for me.

A coolness of collective nouns, if you will. A smattering of silliness. A preponderance of puns. A waterloo of wordishness.

Stopping. Now.

I would love it if you would play with me.

p.s. Among other things I’ve learned today? A castrated male sheep or goat is a wether.

Happy Monday, guys.

The Fluent Self