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I found the words ‘eclectic bunch’ in the following sentence of a New York Times (July 29, 2011) article reporting increase in foraging in city parks, which is titled ‘Enjoy Park Greenery, City Says, but Not as Salad.’

Foraging used to be a quirky niche, filled most notably by “Wildman” Steve Brill, who for years has led foraging tours in the Northeast, including in Central Park. But foragers today are an eclectic bunch, including downtown hipsters, recent immigrants, vegans and people who do not believe in paying for food.

As the word ‘eclectic bunch’ was new to me, I checked its meaning on Google and found a flood of examples of its usages including the name of a musical band. From those quotes and examples, I deduced that ‘eclectic bunch’ simply means ‘hodgepodge’ — a group of different types of constituents. Is this right?

However, I wonder why this ‘eclectic’ expression like ‘eclectic bunch’ became so ubiquitously used as I saw in Google. Is it because the word ‘eclectic bunch’ sounds trendy?

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When I think eclectic, I generally think of home decor. The term is often used for - as you put it - a hodge-podge style. Eclectic homes have mismatched everything - just a wild assortment. –  Phil Jul 31 '11 at 5:03
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1 Answer 1

This is not a catch phrase, Oishi-san, it's simply an adjective and a noun put together.

eclectic |iˈklektik| adjective 1 deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources: her musical tastes are eclectic.

As it's used there, it just means today's foragers include people from many different walks of life.

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@Robusto-san. Now I understand 'eclectic bunch’ is not an idiom. I was interested in overwhelmingly high incidence of uses of ‘eclectic bunch’ as a comound. Google shows 4.45 million hits of 'eclectic bunch’ as compared to 1.75 million hits of ‘different kind of,’ and 450k of “kind of.” I noticed the word is used very often in connection with music, e.g., “I like an Eclectic Bunch of Music,” “Oscar music nominee are eclectic bunch,” “Eclectic bunch join singer song writer, Greayner’s latest features,” So I wonder if ‘eclectic bunch’ sounds trendier than saying ‘different types of people.” –  Yoichi Oishi Jul 31 '11 at 2:13
    
@Oishi-san: It just sounds more colloquial. I wouldn't call it "trendy" exactly, just very common, very ordinary. –  Robusto Jul 31 '11 at 2:37
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