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134 "Bob's your uncle" (Phrase origins - alt.usage.english)




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This article is from the alt.usage.english FAQ, by Mark Israel misrael@scripps.edu with numerous contributions by others.

134 "Bob's your uncle" (Phrase origins - alt.usage.english)


This British phrase means "all will be well" or "simple as that":
"You go and ask for the job -- and he remembers your name -- and
Bob's your uncle." It dates from circa 1890.
P. Brendon, in "Eminent Edwardians", 1979, suggests an origin:
"When, in 1887, Balfour was unexpectedly promoted to the vital front
line post of Chief Secretary for Ireland by his uncle Robert, Lord
Salisbury (a stroke of nepotism that inspired the catch-phrase
'Bob's your uncle'), ..."
Or it may have been prompted by the cant phrase "All is bob" =
"all is safe."
(Info from Eric Partridge's "Dictionary of Catch Phrases", 2nd
edition, revised by Paul Beale, Routledge, 1985, ISBN
0-415-05916-X.)

 

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