Know Thy English: Why is Bob your uncle?

Recently I came across this wonderful phrase that goes “and Bob’s your uncle!” I found it amusing so looked it up online. And what do you know? It apparently is the French equivalent of “Voila!” i.e something you say to indicate how easy it is attain something or when you want to say ‘everything is alright’.

For example, when you are explaining a recipe to your friend you say –

“Then you put the spices, leave it on a medium flame for about ten minutes, and Bob’s your uncle!! The curry is done.”

Sometimes it is also expanded to add “and Fanny’s your aunt.” Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean says something similar in one the movies.

It’s a fascinating phrase for sure and something I wish to use everyday but unfortunately us Indians aren’t really aware of this phrase and I’d get weird looks or worse -a “Who the hell is Bob??”

It also seems to be exclusive to the UK and some parts of Australia, so there probably are more people on this planet who don’t know this phrase than those who do. As for the etymology, no one seems to be sure about it so let’s not worry about that. 🙂

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23 thoughts on “Know Thy English: Why is Bob your uncle?

  1. So I visited this web site = http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/why-do-we-say-bobs-your-uncle where is claims that

    “In 1887, British Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil appointed his nephew Arthur James Balfour as Minister for Ireland. The phrase ‘Bob’s your uncle’ was coined when Arthur referred to the Prime Minister as ‘Uncle Bob’. Apparently, it’s very simple to become a minister when Bob’s your uncle!”

    soooooo google made finding out or should I say “Bob’s your uncle”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s strange! I thought it would be a well-known phrase over there :O But when I was researching, a lot of English people did claim they have heard of it. Maybe try it with your friends and see what happens? 😛

      Like

    • 🙂 I’m glad you and your husband found this post interesting. I never heard of Cockney English before, but looked it up on Youtube and looks like it’s really a thing! I think it’s difficult to not use this phrase once you hear it 😉 I find it really funny too!

      Like

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