British Dopers, Please Explain The Term "Turf Accountant"

Hyacinth Bucket in “Keeping Up Appearances” kept referring to her brother-in-law Bruce as a “turf accountant”. Is this a slag term for a bookie? Or is a turf accountant the equivalent of the guy on graveyard shift who runs the day-shift people’s bets to the track for a small fee plus a cut of the winnings?

Whilst you wait for the inevitably cleverer, wittier and all-together better reply…

Yes, it’s another term for a bookmaker, possibly a posher one… although there may be some technical difference, I don’t gamble.

It’s a slightly old-fashioned name for a bookie.

Before we had betting shops (which also call themselves “turf accountants”) there were two types of bookies - racecourse bookies and account bookies eg Victor Chandler (the man not the firm). There were no high street outlets. There were plenty of illegal bookies too.

So to bet with a turf accountant one had to have an account - which implies a bit more class than the tic-tac men. That’s why hyacinth calls him a turf accountant not a betting shop manager.