The word idios comes from Greek, meaning one's own.

Can I use "idiosyncrasies of [group]", despite the subject being a group rather than an individual?

  • The etymology of a word does not necessarily tell us anything about its current meaning. See Etymological fallacy. – Colin Fine Nov 11 '11 at 11:48

I don't see any reason not to say that a group has idiosyncrasies as you would for an individual. You would, of course, run the risk of making a broad generalisation that is unlikely to apply to every individual in the group.

If you're looking for a single word to describe the shared idiosyncrasies or characteristics of a group, then perhaps subculture is appropriate.

  • You started well, but then mooted the point: you can talk about idiosyncrasies of group, subculture, country, the Earth and also about idiosyncrasies of lines (class), a line (some instance) or the line (a particular instance). – Unreason Nov 11 '11 at 11:00

One of the definitions of idiosyncrasy:

A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.

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