Posted by: episystechpubs | April 26, 2017

Editor’s Corner: And Bob’s Your Uncle

A few weeks ago, someone mentioned a phrase he heard about somebody’s Uncle Bob, and was wondering if I knew what that was all about. I think what he was getting at was the phrase “and Bob’s your uncle.” One of my coworkers here actually says that on occasion, so he’s explained it to me. Rather than try to remember another past conversation, I have an article from the present to share with you from Wikipedia:

…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.

This information, along with a lot of speculation, is expanded upon in The Phrase Finder. (I personally like the Australian-Greek version, “And Spiro’s your uncle.”)

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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