Bounder of adventure


Senior Member
Spanish - Spain / Catalan
Hello everyone!

I was watching this sketch by Monty Python where they're at a travel agents' and there's this man who introduces himself as Bounder-of-Adventure. I know there's some sort of joke about the name of the man so I looked its meaning up in some dictionaries and they all give the definition of an amoral man for bounder. However, I'm not quite sure this is the real joke and I wonder whether there should be something slipping away from my understanding. Perhaps someone who has watched the sketch -it's an old one- could lend me a hand? :)
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    The word "Bounder" originally meant someone who marked out the bounds or limits of land. It later became used in slang as a person who went to the limits of "decent behaviour", and then became someone who went beyond those boundaries.

    It is a word associated with the upper-classes and in popular Victorian literature a bounder became an almost necessary character. The word persisted into the 20th century (I guess until the mid-50s) and then became a comical stereotype, a sort of "Baron Blackheart", a character who was an upper-class villain, careless of other people feelings and rights. Everyone would recognise the man and know who was the "baddy" in a flim, story or play and would boo him.

    "Boys' Own Adventure" is a great theme of Michael Palin (of Monty Python); this comes from Victorian literature and adventure stories for boys - the famous explorer as the hero of books is very, very British. (e.g. Conan Doyles's "The Lost World" or Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines") Originally held up as a model of honesty, nobility and gentlemanly behaviour to young boys and men, the character, around the mid 60s/early 70s, became a comic caricature of Imperial Britain, usually with overtones of stupidity, ignorance of other social norms and backed by the authority of class.

    Monty Python thus combines these two characters Bounder and Adventure, and combines them in a name for comic effect.

    Humour cannot withstand explanations but when I read, "Bounder-of-Adventure" I burst out laughing. I could see him and I knew his character!
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain / Catalan
    PaulQ, you have left me speechless with your explanation. I could never have reached the meaning of the joke. Now I see it is very British. Thank you very much!
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