Posted on 03/29/2019 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

We told the author newswire yesterday that we’re hooked on the podcast The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week, and we’re proving our point by sharing another episode from it.

While binging as background noise for various home DIY projects, we came upon a May 2018 episode that talked about a particularly special fifteenth-century book.

The Book of Saint Albans is the earliest example of color printing in England, and its author, Dame Juliana Berners, covered a variety of topics within it (listen to the episode to find out which ones, as well as other reasons it’s famous!).

The reason it appeared on the podcast, though, was that it introduced a number of collective nouns for groups of animals — like a kindle of kittens.

(Talk about a prescient choice, with all of today's cat lovers who have also embraced e-readers!)

You can certainly read scans of the Book of Saint Albans, but it’s in medieval English and not exactly easy to follow for most modern folks.

So if you’d prefer to pick up more fun collective nouns without much effort, consider James Lipton’s An Exaltation of Larks, which revived many collective nouns invented by medieval English hunters ... and which sent the podcasters down the rabbit hole that led them to the Book of Saint Albans.

Categories: Today in Books

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