Last modified on 9 May 2015, at 03:15



When is the line drawn between a murder and assassination? —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) . 13:32, 6 April 2006‎

You gotta be famous to be assassinated. --Dangherous 23:32, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Isn't fame subjective? Etym (talk) 20:11, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
An assassination is usually something premeditated and ordered (e.g. by a rival gang). Murder is a more broad term. Equinox 20:21, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

A Murder of CrowsEdit

I couldn't find murder in the sense of "flock of crows" in Webster's Third and Oxford's Concise.

I found it on Google, though. But there should be at least an example here.--Amir E. Aharoni 09:36, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I didn't find any useful quotes in WikiSource. --EncycloPetey 09:47, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
'A murder of crows' seems reasonably well attested, and appears in several internet lists of 'collective nouns', in Wikipedia: List of collective nouns by subject A-H, and in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable 17th Edition, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 2005. So I'm putting that in as the source. --Drgrigg 02:16, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
There's some duplication here, though. The use of 'murder' as a collective noun appears under Etymology 1 as well as under Etymology 2. Is Etymology 2 even needed? --Drgrigg 03:05, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
How can the two have the same etymology? There is nothing in the present etymology that explains the use related to crows. __meco 07:32, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

I removed the usage note. It is in the OED, with cites back to Middle English. Also I've never heard of anyone claiming this "deteroriates" the word. Please cite a source. --Ptcamn 03:31, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Transitive/intransitive verbEdit

The first definition of the verb murder ‘to deliberately kill’, can be used both transitively and intransitively. However, the Dutch translation is different for these two uses. Should there be made a second definition, too? henne 12:58, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

etymology of murderEdit

An anon changed the etymology of murder here, which looks plausible. Should maybe the old and new etymologies be merged? Or is this murdrum thing a load of tosh? --Jackofclubs 07:35, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like tosh to me. Here's what Shipley says:

     Most deaths were violent; murder meant just death, AS. morthor, common Teut. G. Mord; L. mors, mort—[…]

Pretty straightforward, eh?—Strabismus 19:17, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, nonsense. But Shipley is simplifying the definition of the "Anglo-Saxon" the OED points out, "In Old English the word could be applied to any homicide that was strongly reprobated. [...] More strictly, however, it denoted secret murder, which in Germanic antiquity was alone regarded as a crime (in the modern sense), open homicide being considered a private wrong calling for blood-revenge or compensation." Ƿidsiþ 20:10, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Most sources I've seen link it (via an earlier form murther) to the AS root, and may cite the ML cognate murdrum (from Gmc) as a possible influence for the change of -th- to -d-, though this could otherwise be a wholly internal development (cf burden from burthen). Leasnam 02:25, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

noun synonymsEdit

If we accept manslaughter, we must add homicide ( I have done so )

But I think that neither are strictly accepted in in written English but both would pass muster in casual spoken English.

Would an editor please look at the original admission of manslaughter.

Robert Chifflet (talk) 12:21, 9 December 2012 (UTC)


The slang for murder is so various across dialects, groups and nations - would a section be accepted? Robert Chifflet (talk) 12:28, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

A section of what, synonyms? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:56, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Middle EnglishEdit

The etymology section here links to a nonexistent 'middle english' section. When was it last present here? Etym (talk) 20:11, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Best guess, never, feel free to check though. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:13, 23 March 2013 (UTC)


I've heard it said that a group of archers can also be called a murder, but I can't find hard, CFI-compliant evidence of this. - -sche (discuss) 03:15, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Return to "murder" page.