drag hunt-loving exterior

Alex Coseff

Senior Member
Czech
Please,

how to paraphase "drag hunt-loving exterior?"

G.M. Malliet: Wicked autumn
"Max thought there might actually be something more going on beneath the Major`s buffoonish, pukka-sahib-ish, drag hunt-loving exterior."

Major is almost a Dickensian character, wearing brocaded waistcoats in all seasons.
Does hunt-loving refer to someone who is keen on hunting or at least his appearance might give the impression (i.e. the brocaded waistcoat)? My comment might be absolutely beside the point, though. Second, I am quite lost as for the "drag" adjective.
I would appreciate any comments. Thank you.
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I'd go with definition #15 in the WR dictionary:

    [slang] women's clothes worn by a man, usually by a transvestite (esp in the phrase in drag)

    The writer may mean it more figuratively than literally: the Major is elaborately dressed up like something he's not.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't think the previous reply fits the context of an English village.

    A drag hunt is a hunt in which the hounds follow an artificial scent that has been laid on the ground by dragging something over it, rather than following a live animal such as a fox.

    The appearance of the Major suggested that he loved drag hunts.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Did you not search for "drag hunt" in the dictionary? It's a hunt where the hounds follow an artificial scent that has been set, rather than a real live fox.
    The Major had the appearance (probably also the speech and behaviour) of the sort of officer who had served in the British army in India and loved drag hunting, and seemed to be a buffoon.
     

    Alex Coseff

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Thank you, Florentia and Egmont:)
    Actually, there is no mention in the story (or else hasn`t been yet) that Major is keen on drag hunts. It might therefore be, as Florentia suggests, he is dressed up like someone he is not.. Many thanks:)
     

    Alex Coseff

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Yes, I have searched, Velisarius.

    What made me feel confused and not absolutely convinced I was right was that the author hasn`t mentioned Major was keen on hunting. Having said that, his brocaded waistcoat as well as his shooting stick (mentioned earlier in the text) gave me a clue. I just wanted to make sure I got it right. Thanks a lot.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I still think Egmont and velisarius are right. The Major could merely be dressed up like someone who likes drag hunts; he wouldn't need to take part in them himself.

    I like my interpretation in #2, but I don't think it's the right one.
     

    Alex Coseff

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Thank you, Florentia.
    I liked your interpretation, it seemed to fit Major`s character a bit. He is being manipulated by his wife, a bullying lady... and is easily given to fancies which are not quite his line if that makes sense....

    Egmont and Velisarius are right, though. Many thanks - to all of you:)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think the Major is just being portrayed as a stereotype of the retired army officer (but a stereotype that strikes me as about fifty years out of date.)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm confident this has nothing to do with transvesticism. Major Batton-Smythe is an archetypal British army type. I know...I know...

    The error here is leaving out a hyphen; it should be drag-hunt-loving exterior.

    The problem, insofar as there is one, is why does he love drag hunting, as opposed to the real thing? The answer may lie in the Hunting Act 2004 which made hunting wild animals with dogs illegal in Britain, but did not affect drag hunting.

    G.M.Malliet's Wicked Autumn dates from 2011. She will be familiar with English life both before and after the Hunting Act, having studied at both Cambridge and Oxford, and having returned frequently to the UK. She was born in 1951.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Just a thought, inspired by Thomas Tompion's posts. This sounds like a village that is being taken over by politically-correct townies, arty-crafty new-agers, who may well be horrified by traditional blood sports with real foxes.
     
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