a Master of Otter Hounds

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Anya Smitty

Senior Member
Chinese
One of these days, it was assumed, she would marry a brewer or a Master of Otter Hound.
What's the meaning of " Master of Otter Hound"?
Source: The Unbearable Bassington
 
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  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Well, when they hunted foxes, they had special dogs (hounds) to help them - fox hounds - and the man in charge of the hunt was called the Master of Fox Hounds, or MFH. He was often an important landowner in the district. There is such a thing as an otter hound but I think the Master of them is Saki's comic invention.
     

    Anya Smitty

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    But I just found in google that Several British Kings were titled "Master of Otterhounds," including King John, (1199-1216), Richard III, Charles II, Edward II and IV, Henry II, VI, VII and VIII and Elizabeth I.
    Well, when they hunted foxes, they had special dogs (hounds) to help them - fox hounds - and the man in charge of the hunt was called the Master of Fox Hounds, or MFH. He was often an important landowner in the district. There is such a thing as an otter hound but I think the Master of them is Saki's comic invention.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Then you now more about it than I do . . . And as all websites about pets are blocked at my office, you still do . . . No, wait, here's one I can access. Well, well, there was even an Association of Masters of Otterhounds until otter hunting was finally banned in 1978. So the basic idea is still that the Master is the important local official in charge of keeping the pack of hounds. Saki's joke must then be that this is a much more obscure kind of Master than the ordinary country squire who was MFH.
     
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