Bob's your uncle

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...And Bob's your uncle is an expression of unknown origin, that means "and there it is" or "and there you have it." It is commonly used in Great Britain and Commonwealth countries. Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple instructions or when a result is reached. The meaning is similar to that of the French expression "et voilà!"

"Bob's your uncle" is an exclamation that is used when "everything is all right" and the simple means of obtaining the successful result is explained. For example: "left over right; right over left, and Bob's your uncle – a reef knot." Sometimes the phrase is followed with "and Nellie's your aunt" or "and Fanny's your aunt." It is sometimes elaborately phrased Robert is your mother's brother or similar for comic effect.

Origin[edit]

A. J. Langguth and others have suggested that the expression arose after Conservative Prime Minister Robert "Bob" Cecil appointed his nephew Arthur Balfour as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1887, an act which was apparently both surprising and unpopular. Whatever other qualifications Balfour might have had, "Bob's your uncle" was seen as the conclusive one.[1] Regardless of the origin, the meaning has become acknowledging, announcing, or explaining a result or outcome that is achieved more easily than might be imagined.[2][3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Langguth, A. J. (1981). Saki: Life of Hector Hugh Munro. 
  2. ^ Trahair, R. C. S. (1994). From Aristotelian to Reaganomics: A Dictionary of Eponyms With Biographies in the Social Science. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 72. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (2006). Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang. Canongate U.S. p. 65. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 

Further reading[edit]