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'A thoroughly entertaining and absorbing little publication, set out in an accessible and easy-to-read style' - The Bookbag Why are geese in a gaggle? Are crows really murderous? And what makes lions so proud? Collective nouns are one of the most charming oddities of the English language, often with seemingly bizarre connections to the groups they identify. But have you ever stopped to wonder where these peculiar terms actually came from? Most of those found in this book have their origins in the Medieval Books of Courtesy, among the earliest works to be published in this country. Despite originating as a form of social etiquette reserved for the gentry, many of these collective nouns have survived to become a curious feature of today's everyday language. This absorbing book tells the stories of these evocative phrases, many of which have stood the test of time and are still in use today. Entertaining, informative and fascinating, An Unkindness of Ravens is perfect for any history or language buff.
Chloe Rhodes gives a short history of each chosen noun, most of which date back to 15th-century manuscripts, and the first printed and most influential list of nouns in The Book of St Albans, a treatise on hunting, hawking and heraldry. Her volume is organised by subject – People, Professions, Religious Callings, Domestic Animals and Birds, Wild Animals, Insects and Fish, Wild Birds, and Exotic Creatures – and is a wonderful treasure trove of fascinating information that should stand anyone in good stead for a crossword or quiz.
|Publication date:||11th September 2014|
|Publisher:||Michael O'Mara Books Ltd|
Chloe Rhodes is a freelance writer, blogger and author and a regular contributor to various magazines and journals. Chloe has written several books on a wide variety of subjects including food and drink, history and philosophy and family relationships. Her previous works for Michael O'Mara Books include A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi: Words We Pinched From Other Languages, One For Sorrow . . . : A Book of Old-Fashioned Lore and Black Cats and Evil Eyes.More About Chloe Rhodes