Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
c.1430, collective noun of quails and ladies, from Anglo-Fr. bevée
, of unknown origin. One supposed definition of the word is "a drinking bout," but this is perhaps a misprint of bever
, from O.Fr. beivre
). Still, it's possible that the original sense could be a company of birds gathered at a puddle or pool for drinking or bathing.
Interesting that the original meaning of this word applied only to groups of girls or women, or birds (specifically quail...?)...
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Dictionaries also give us "a bevy of roes". A roe is a roedeer or roebuck, a small European deer.
I looked up "bevy" in Harrap's Shorter French-English Dictionary. For " a bevy of girls" it gives "essaim de jeunes filles" - a swarm of girls! Bzzzz! Bzzzz! Ouch!
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