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In the lists which follow, terms marked with a + belong to the 15th-century list of "proper terms" contained in the Book of St Albans, attributed to Dame Julia Barnes (1486). Many of these are fanciful or humorous terms which have never had any real currency, but have been taken up by various antiquarian writers.
Strictly speaking there are nouns of assemblage and nouns of multitude. According to Barnes, "the names of multitudes must not be used promiscuously in designating companies...." She goes on to say that strict regard to these niceties "better distinguishes gentlymen from ungentlymen".
You have been warned.
The lists are given in two formats, as shown below.
- ^ Oxford Reference Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1986.