A River of Baptists

How about a little fun today with collective nouns?

Some collective nouns are just odd: a husk of jackrabbits, a knot of toads. But the best ones combine the idea of plurality with some characteristic of the species: A wake of buzzards, a parliament of owls, or (my favorite) a lounge of lizards.

But why should the animal world have all the fun here? Could we not also think of some collective nouns for people or groups in the Bible? Here are a few starters.

  • A pride of Pharisees
  • A sea of Egyptians
  • A lesion of lepers
  • A dirge of prophets
  • A scribbling of scribes
  • A confusion of concubines

We can do the same thing to today’s religious groups

  • A chorus of charismatics
  • A sprinkling of Methodists
  • A potluck of Presbyterians
  • A mass of Catholics
  • A river of Baptists
  • A porch-full of Mormons
  • A smashing of Luddites
  • A bank of tele-evangelists
  • A list of legalists
  • A pestilence of prosperity preachers
  • A mall of mega-churches

Or even groups from our own church

  • A hush of ushers
  • A tyranny of toddlers
  • A tangle of teenagers
  • A babble of babies
  • A diarrhea of diapers
  • A caravan of minivans

Okay, your turn.

Comment your suggestions in one of the three categories above.

Remember, they should combine the notion of plurality with some characteristic of the group.

Bonus points if they begin with the same letter. Major demerits if you get mean-spirited.

It’s all yours, our rumpus of readers, our posse of pundits, our clash of commenters. Have some fun!

114 thoughts on “A River of Baptists

  1. A shiver of Quakers.
    A prevenience of Wesleyans.
    A band of Salvationists, as Salvation Army folks like to call themselves.
    A babble (or Babel) of Pentecostals.
    A congregation of Puritans.
    A limitation of Calvinists.
    An exclamation of evangelists.
    And a covetousness of televangelists.


  2. I listened to the book and enjoyed it.

    Having lived 40+ years in NW Arkansas I saw plenty of what Vance described, especially in southern Missouri (that’s where the real hillbillies are). Now, living in NE Tennessee about 10 minutes from the southwestern Virginia state line I realize that Arkansas and Missouri were hillbilly lite.


  3. Not sure which of these works best…

    A quack of QAnon-ers.
    A quarrel of QAnon-ers.
    A craze of QAnon-ers.
    A conspiracy of QAnon-ers.
    A nutcase of QAnon-ers.


  4. A gaggle of geologists….

    A mass of meteorologists…

    A chorus of chemists…

    An emergence of engineers…

    An assembly of astronomers…


  5. A cacophony of Catholics….

    A transition of Trumpians…

    A rhubarb of Russian Orthodox…er’s….ian’s…

    A bunch of Baptists….

    An armada of Arminians….


  6. I don’t have enough music theory to appreciate that particular piece. It sounds kind of bloodless and abstract, like music for Sorns. However, since she is an Atlanta girl, I had to give her the benefit of the doubt. Her Concerto for Orchestra and her Viola Concerto were a lot more emotionally accessible, actually, quite lovely.

    It must be brutally hard being a ‘contemporary’ composer, and finding something fresh to say with thousands of brainy high-culture people dissecting each measure.


  7. I don’t think there’s anything Vance has to say in the book that you’re not already entirely familiar with in your day to day experience with others there in PA, Robert. I enjoyed


  8. A hymnal of hymnists. (Now archaic)
    Oceans of Hillsong United worshippers.
    A gnocchi of Gnostics.
    A global warming of climate changers.
    A chosen of Calvinists.


  9. The film got panned by a lot of critics as a result of its “boostrap-y” character. That’s all I know about it, and I know even less about the book. I have the hunch that I’d prefer to keep it that way.


  10. Read the book last summer. It was a moving and powerful story, but a little too bootstraps-y for my liking. Kudos to JD Vance for getting out of Dodge, though. Please remember he was probably more like Mike Spencer than anybody commenting here except maybe Dan From Georgia.

    Who is Frieda Pinto cast as? I don’t remember any cute brown girl in the book. It was the whitest book I’ve read since A Separate Peace.

    I wish they’d make a movie out of Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting With Jesus. That would rattle more cages than Vance’s book.

    I kinda lost interest in the Whites of West Virginia when I found out that White was a family name. I have it on DVD and will get around to watching it.

    If y’all want a real wild ride, get a Showtime free trial and binge-watch The Good Lord Bird with Ethan Hawke as Osawatamie John Gotdamn Brown.


  11. It will be worth watching, you bet.

    strongly urge people to take a look also at ‘The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia’

    strong meat for them what has no clue about the pathos of what happened to the spirit of these people after years of being under too many troubles – and yet something remains of humanity in these folks
    that is missing in many of the powerful in our country who array themselves against the helpless

    you enter deeper waters when you encounter the results of generational poverty and the abuse of the coal mine owners in their thirst for profits over the safety of the mines. . . . . . we reap what we sow, super-capitalists, and may God have mercy on them what put these folks through generations of hell


  12. General observation:

    Only Burro seems to believe that alliteration is not essential in defining collective nouns. But it’s still fascinatung that alliteration is such a powerful device for unlocking the creativity shown thus far. We can’t help ourselves!


  13. Read the book a few years back. It was quite insightful, and I recommends it to my family, who enjoyed it. The thing that sticks with me is the author’s recounting of a visit to a home where everyone was enjoyably chatting as they waited for dinner. He, however, was convinced they were all being “fake nice” and would soon enough be howling at each other. Yet the shoe never dropped. Some people really do grow up in worlds where adults can only communicate by shouting.

    I never imagined it as a film, however, and while Amy Adams is usually enough to make me want to watch any movie, I’m not sure how this one will turn out. But I’ll probably check it out over the US Thanskgiving holiday.


  14. Off subject.
    Hillbilly Elegy is coming out on Netflix today.
    I want to know if Internet Monkers have read the book.
    Or if you know about it.
    And your review, if you care to watch.


  15. A clanking of canes: Some call us the frozen chosen but we thaw out enough to climb the steps and ignore the ramp
    On the side.


  16. Susan: I approved you comment as soon as I logged in this morning. Remember, the comments are mostly unmoderated, We moderators check in only infrequently. Also, Dan Jepsen did not hold your comment up — the Word Press functions are responsible and they are not predictable. Sorry, that’s just the way it is, nobody at Internet Monk has anything against you. Mike the Geologist


  17. may be stretching the definition of religious groups here… but the adherent behavior begs to differ.

    A rattlebrain of Republicans
    A decadent of Democrats
    A bonker of Bidenites
    A tragedy of Trumpists

    Just . Couldn’t . Resist


  18. A jamboree of janitors

    A tedium of teachers

    A maximum of ministers

    A mumble of missionaries

    A thicket of theologians

    A lunch of lutherans

    A gravity of greeters

    A pedantic of puritans

    A fury of fundamentalists

    A trellis of trustees


  19. I deserve bonus points.
    Daniel — I complied with all the rules you set
    Let me go.

    Maybe we can have a stutter of singing Susans



  20. ‘A nourishment and nurture of Nurses.’

    My daughter Frances, a Registered Nurse working at a large hospital in Australia, is taking Carer’s Leave to come home to me for a week after I have my surgery next Tuesday.

    She is also an angel, I am sure with her beautiful singing she can join any heavenly choir.

    ‘A chorus of Carers.’

    When she was living at home she sang for many years in our church choir and sang solos.

    May she be blessed.
    She is my precious girl.



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