|Bride Beverly's bibacious bevy bibulously bibbling bevvies|
Noun. Late Middle English.
1. A company of ladies, roes, quails or larks. LME
2. A group or company of any kind. E17
Ooh I do love terms of venery! And as collective nouns go, bevy is a particularly wonderful one. Who would have thought that just one word could describe a group of roes, quails, larks or ladies? Such lexicological versatility is surely cause for celebration.
It's also of interest as it's still in common use across Britain. Well, OK, not so much for quails, but a bevy of beauties is a commonly used expression. While the dictionary definition carries the idea that there can be a bevy of anything so long as it has a common characteristic (and it is used in this way), the first definition that jumps into my mind with bevy is that of a group of women. It also carries the connotation of frivolity, perhaps because of its similarity to the word bevvy or bevy, from beverage and specifically meaning an alcoholic drink. Therefore, a bevy of girls out on a Hen Night sounds more natural to me than, say, a bevy of politicians.