I had previously thought that all of those funny collective names that we have for groups of animals (gaggle of geese, pod of whales) were invented sometime in the Victorian age by bored wealthy people who made them up as a parlour game. Not the case! They were, in fact, first listed in the Book of St. Albans, printed in England around 1480. The same book also lists collective nouns for different professions. So the next time you happen to see a group of nuns loping along, you’ll know to call them a “superfluity”.