Parcel of Brats


Don’t you just love the English language? Who would have thought, but the language of Shakespeare does have an official collective noun for brats. It is apparently a parcel of brats. Karl used the phrase when he said he was reminded of a parcel of rogues.

We had some good suggestions, including some for a collective of tops, which apparently is a spin of tops (that sounds a bit too dizzy).

Here are some of your suggestions.

A school of brats
A charm of brats
A siege of brats
A paddling of brats
A pack of brats
A frolic of brats
A mutiny of brats
A mischief of brats

A roguery of tops.
A treachery of tops
A cuddle of tops (Kaki might have been in trouble when she suggested this)

Story soon and curiously more on caning WRNS.

53 Responses to “Parcel of Brats”

  1. 1 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    Rogues, brats — truth be told, there IS a sort of equivalence there. And “parcel of brats” does have that ring of “olde English” authenticity.

  2. 2 Phil K

    Does indeed – with the added charm that ‘parcel’ rhymes neatly with another good old English word, ‘arsehole’. As in the classic limerick:

    [Do you mind if we don’t publish that – thanks very much! DJ]

    • 3 Phil K

      Sorry, DJ – had no idea you were so sensitive….

      [? – I am a delicate soul at heart – do you mean the limerick? If so – then yes I would prefer to minimise lavatorial humour – especially that of the elaborately graphic kind. Ladies present after all. 😉 ]

      • 4 Phil K

        Most of the ‘ladies’ I know seem to have, I’m glad to say, minds at least as filthy as mine – if not more so….

  3. 5 scarlet

    I would rather be in a charm of brats than a parcel. I do not like being grouped together like a package in the mail.

    Good call on Kaki being in trouble, DJ. That’s pretty much the story of her life. 🙂

  4. 6 Kaki

    Scarlet! you know me better than that, I am hardly ever in trouble. *jumps around dodging lightning bolts*

    I don’t want to be a part of a parcel either, I like charm, like Scarlet said but rather frolic. As we go frolicing getting into mischief.

  5. A few years ago on Devlin O’Neil’s blog we held an open forum with name suggestions for groups of brats and Tops. I am sure Karl remembers that, and I think he contributed some suggestions. Poppy mentioned earlier here that we decided on a Mischief of Brats. We also decided on a Scold of Tops. There were many excellent and creative suggestions and by popular consensus we decided on those names.

    • 8 DJ

      google ‘parcel of brats’ apparently it is the collective noun (not chosen by me)

      but any group of people can agree on any alternatives – I hope I included those 😉

      let the debate continue 😉


  6. I never knew there was an official collective noun, and didn’t even suspect their might be so I never bothered to look. Thanks for finding that, DJ.

    I do like ‘siege of’ and ‘mutiny of,’ though not so much ‘treachery of’ and ‘cuddle of’ (hmph!) so yes, by all means let the debate continue!



  7. 10 Poppy

    How about a beauty of brats?

    • 11 DJ

      What about a wailing of brats? A standing of brats? A misery of brats? A bevy of brats? A contrition of brats?

      Dev: my dictionary of collective nouns does not include it either – but it also omits my personal favourite a crash of rhinos – so its not complete. But Google yields 1008 hits on the phrase ‘parcel of brats’ (about 1,000 more than any other suggested phrase – excepting yours and my blog).


      • 12 scarlet

        DJ, I’m surprised you didn’t come up with a corner of brats. 🙂

  8. I do like ‘contrition of brats,’ but speaking of rhinos, some days round at my place it’s more like a ‘crash of brats.’ 🙂

    The problem with ‘parcel of brats’ is that it’s so non-descriptive. You could have a ‘parcel’ of anything, or, like we say in Lubbock, a ‘passel,’ as in, “I turnt over that rock and there was a passel of scorpions underneath it.”

    • 14 DJ

      or maybe a self-destruct of brats (after a recent near-miss)

      we should petition the OED for some clarification – I think we should be told.


  9. 17 Phil K

    How about ‘an impertinence of brats’?

  10. Fun post, DJ! I like a “charm of brats” best!

    Here is the post on Dev’s blog from September 2008 on collective nouns for brats and tops:

    A Mischief of Brats, A Scold of Tops, and a Rant of Devlin

    • 19 DJ

      Thanks – I hadn’t seen that – funny how great minds think alike (or in the case of brats perhaps fools seldom differ)

      I particularly like the accurate portrait of Poppy’s old school – she must be missing it.


  11. 20 scarlet

    DJ, Poppy asked me and Kaki to come over and tell you how naughty she is, and that she should be sorted out as soon as possible.

    She also said something about an obtuse of Tops. I agree.

    • 21 DJ

      I am missing some of this being only a top – its going right over my head – I sledom get above the bottom you see – but I assure you I won’t be missing that! 😉

  12. 22 Poppy

    DJ, Scarlet told me to tell you that she trying to tell tales on me except everything she says is all made up and you should know that because you made me all well behaved last weekend. Scarlet is jealous and wants you to make her good now. She also said that even you would not be strict enough to make Kaki behave but I said she was wrong and she should not underestimate you.

    We both agree about the obtuse of Tops though.

  13. 25 Kaki

    DJ, apparently whatever means you used this weekend to make Poppy behave didn’t work. She is spreading all kinds of fibs trying to get me in trouble with you. I think whatever you did this weekend she needs double or even triple this weekend. If you were planning on skipping this weekend I feel that may not be wise, not that I am suggesting how a great Top such as yourself should sort a girl out. I would never do that. If you need help handing you implements Scarlet and I would be happy to take a trip across the pond.

    • 26 DJ

      that’s a date then Poppy, Scarlett and you – bring lots of paddles.

      I am sure P won’t mind if you help.

      Then we can all have a little talk.


      • 27 Kaki

        That’s okay, DJ. I am not a big talker, I am kind of quiet and shy, more of a listener. I will just sit back while the rest of you talk. All of the paddles were accidently burned in a bonfire while Scarlet was cleaning out the woodshed so sorry, can’t bring any paddles.

  14. 28 Kaki

    Oops, I do like the obtuse of Tops, it seems fitting.

  15. 29 Poppy

    You see how naughty Kaki is! She is topping from the bottom and telling untruths.

    I don’t need any talk, big or little. You can all help each other, I shall go out and have some fun and bring some frozen peas back for you all.

    The only thing we all agree on is the obtuse of Tops.
    And DJ’s shoes (sparkly).

  16. 30 scarlet

    I will be happy to hand you implements, DJ, but then I have an appointment to visit the Tower of London. You wouldn’t want me to miss that, so I won’t be able to stay for the little talk.

    Tell Poppy and Kaki everything you think is important for a girl to know, and I’ll ask them all about it later.

    Regarding staying on Top of our fiddle faddle: most Tops can’t. Don’t feel bad. 🙂

  17. 31 Kaki

    Poppy, did you say DJ’s shoes were sparkly like Dorothy’s ruby slippers?
    Are you from southern England? is that why you say you all or I thought it was pronounced y’all. 😉

    DJ, I just finished all three volumes of Raw. I am not a huge science fiction fan, these were very good. I think because you make the characters very believable. Is there going to be another chapter? I have to admit I read, the last one first then 1 and 2. I will read 3 again, it will make more sense.

  18. 32 Poppy

    DJ, they are all trying to get me in trouble. I think you should send them both to Raw – they need to live there all the time and for ever.
    I shall stay here and carry on being perfectly delightful.

    • 33 scarlet

      Poppy, you and I and Kaki will go to Raw together.

      There is safety in numbers.

      • 34 Mindy

        Scarlet, 😯 . You can share your experience with the rest of us when you get back from Raw!

      • 35 Karl Friedrich Gauss

        Perhaps Damien will write a special episode so we can all learn how you girls fared in that forbidding future world of “RAW”.

  19. 36 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    Poppy’s friends are sure filling up the comment section here. I guess a real parcel o’ brats must have arrived to celebrate the naming. You’re such a conjurer, Damien.

  20. 37 Poppy

    My friends all appear to be (puts on sunglasses and leaves time for a meaningful pause) turncoats.

    (then that big loud Who song)

    • 38 scarlet

      Be careful with that word, turn. Can we find something other than turncoats to describe us? 🙂

      • 39 Poppy

        Turncoats is perfect for you and Kaki and entirely intentional!
        I am clever as well as well behaved. Try to follow my example and you will keep out of trouble.

      • 40 scarlet

        Poppy, if we follow your example we will get in nothing but trouble! You are clever but naughty. We will watch what you do and do the opposite.

  21. 41 Poppy

    Pssssssssssssss Phil

    There are no ‘ladies’ here, only ladies and we can be very naughty but never in the lavatorial way, I think you are thinking of the wrong kind of filth.

    • 42 Phil K

      Now just what, dear Poppy, is ‘the wrong kind of filth’ – and who gets the right to define it as such?

  22. 43 Poppy

    Each lady should decide for herself what kind of filth suits and generally lavatorial filth is not that interesting after the age of about four. If you can find girls that like that sort of thing then you go for it (but those girls aren’t hanging out here)

    • 44 Phil K

      Ah, right. Messrs Chaucer, Bocaccio, Rabelais, Rochester et al – consider yourselves suitably reproved….

      • 45 Poppy

        If all one has to do to be like these esteemed writers is make a poo poem then I am clearly missing the point of their work.

  23. 46 scarlet

    Phil, have you ever seen one of those old Western movies where the men are running the town, and they drink a lot of whiskey and chew tobacco and scratch in unmentionable places, and then a stagecoach full of ladies arrives, and they tumble out in their lacy dresses and parasols and look around them in wonderment?

    All of a sudden, the men are shaving and washing their undershirts and using the spittoon, and there are curtains hung in the windows of the saloon.

    We might be those kind of ladies. Or some of us, anyway. 🙂

    • 47 Phil K

      Not sure which Westerns you’ve been watching, Scarlet – but as I recall it, those ladies usually turned out to be providing friendly services in the local saloon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

  24. 48 George

    I suppose that a happy father of females often might think -with much love and happiness- of his ‘parcel of brats’.

  25. 49 Kaki

    Phil, Scarlet isn’t talking about the ladies that “work” in the saloon. She is talking about the ones that live in the ladies boarding house that doesn’t allow male visitors. The type of lady that make men watch their language, hold doors open and mind their manners. If we were to enter a saloon it would be escorted and we would drink sasparilla. That is the type of ladies we are.

    • 50 scarlet

      Kaki, I will have another sasparilla. Thank you so much. And by the way, that’s a very fetching hat you’re wearing!

  26. 52 scarlet

    You may borrow my button hook if you like, Poppy.

  27. 53 Kaki

    Poppy, “Try to follow my example and you will keep out of trouble.”.

    Keep out of trouble? Weren’t you the inspiration for “Raw”. 🙂

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