|Image from Pixabay|
I love collective nouns: A pride of lions, a conspiracy of lemurs, a murder of crows, a pandemonium of parrots. It’s a gaggle of geese on land and water, but when they take flight, they become a skein or a wedge of geese. But what is the name for a group of magpies?
|Image from Pixabay|
And that led me down a rabbit hole to a nursery rhyme I’d never heard. According to the rhyme, the number of magpies in a group predicts your luck.
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told.
Eight for a wish,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a bird,
You must not miss
Five for silver. Not bad. Hmm, I wonder how this works. Is the silver delivered, or do we need to pick it up somewhere? Maybe we were supposed to follow the magpies? The rhyme doesn't say. 😉
Have you heard this nursery rhyme before? What would you name a group of magpies? My personal contribution: an indignation of magpies.
I think your name...an indignation..is the perfect one, considering a magpie's personality. Also like the term 'parliament', for the same reason. Lots of bickering! That nursery rhyme resonated somewhere in my aging brain cells...I'm sure I've heard it tho not for a very long time. As for the silver, perhaps it refers to the silver lining of the dark Covid cloud. Something sweet to see and hear. A charming post, Beth!ReplyDelete
A silver lining! Perfect!Delete
As I'm quite the optimist, I think you should buy a lottery ticket, Beth. Silver, gold or monthly payments for twenty years are interchangeable, wouldn't you think? I'm not familiar with magpies' personalities but based on what Janice said, I supposed my favorite - a charm - is out of the question, huh? I watch cardinals every day when I write. Your post sent me looking up the collective noun for them. They can be a college, conclave, radiance or Vatican. With their red little feathers sticking out the top of their head, I'll begin using conclave. I think this new noun has changed my perception of them now! :-)ReplyDelete
I love all those, but I think a Vatican is my favorite!Delete
I love this! I knew about the murder of crows, but not the names for magpies...probably because we don't have magpies here in my neck of the woods. :-)ReplyDelete
Their personality is a lot like blue jays--loudly opinionated.Delete
We don't see a lot of birds here where we're anchored, but mosquitoes, flies and turtles? That's what we get. What are their collectives I wonder? Yes, I could look, but we're prepping for a possible hurricane here, so I'm going to suggest a murder of mosquitoes - more apt for those bloodsuckers than crows, -a frustration of flies and well, the turtles come solo....ReplyDelete
Google says it's a scourge of mosquitoes, so also quite fitting. I know someone who always says she's moving, "like a herd of turtles."Delete
I love this post. I've always thought crows should have the term parliament applied to them since they gather and talk a lot--or they could be a troupe. They are entertainers and storytellers, after all. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll see a magpie one day. So far, no luck. Your book description is very appealing, really charming.ReplyDelete
Oh, thank you Virginia. I love a troupe of crows! We have ravens, and they're quite the entertainers and occasionally pickpockets.Delete
I like indignation or parliament. Mockingbirds behave similarly. My mom's cat was tormented by a particular mockingbird that would fly down and grab tufts of fur from his head and chatter at him from a tree. It went on for quite a while, probably because Oz was a really sweet, gentle cat. Then one day there was a pile of black and white feathers and a very smug expression on Oz's face.ReplyDelete
I remember a mockingbird tormenting my cat when I was a child. I can't say I blame Oz too much.Delete
Oh, the language hound in me is absolutely drooling over your list of collective nouns! I love 'indignation'. And yes, Kim, murder of mosquitoes is so true. A cacophony/discord/convention/delegation of crows/magpies and their ilk.ReplyDelete
Love every one of these. A discord of crows. Yes!Delete
Well, there is a coin shortage, so perhaps you need to cash in your coins. lol.ReplyDelete
I think the nursery rhyme is more popular in the UK.
I do have a whole jar full of coins! Maybe that's why I hadn't heard the rhyme. Magpies must be common in the UK.Delete
I've never heard that nursery rhyme before. I like a gulp of magpies, but indignation of magpies is also quite catchy. It's funny how most people thought of money, I thought if I saw five magpies, I'd be seeing more silver in my hair, but I like the money and coin concept a lot better!ReplyDelete
I have quite a lot of silver in my hair, more every day, so maybe you're right!Delete
I love this post! I like an indignation, too, although parliament certainly fits their appearance. That nursery rhyme, like Janice says, resonates somewhere, but I can't quite put my finger on it.ReplyDelete
It reminds me a little of Monday's child is fair of face, etc.Delete