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Origin and Meaning of the Phrase 'Bob's Your Uncle'

Origin and Meaning of the Phrase ‘Bob’s Your Uncle’

I recently heard the phrase “…and Bob’s Your Uncle” a couple of times in movies and television shows. Though it wasn’t the first time I encountered it, I never really thought about what it meant or bothered to research it until now. It seems to be popping up more frequently.

Have you heard the phrase before? I’ve never heard it outside of shows or movies, but now, if I do, I’ll know what it means.

First, here’s what it means, then I’ll tell you who ‘Bob’ actually is.

According to the Amazing Talker website, it’s the last thing you say after giving instructions on how to do something that’s relatively easy peasy.

The phrase “Bob’s your uncle” is a colloquial expression that is used to mean “and there you have it” or “and that’s all there is to it.” It is often used to indicate that something is easy or straightforward.

For example, let’s say you’re teaching someone how to take a photo with their phone. You could say, “Open the camera app on your phone, point your phone at what you want to take a picture of, click the button under the word ‘photo,’ and Bob’s Your Uncle.

Talk about random, right? So, who is Bob, and where did this phrase come from? According to the Phrases website, it’s all about nepotism.

In the late 1800s, British Prime Minister Robert “Bob” Gascoyne-Cecil made his nephew, Arthur James Balfour, the Minister for Ireland. Apparently, Arthur would not only refer to the British Prime Minister as Uncle Bob, but it was also said that he received the appointment quickly and easily, simply because Bob was his uncle.

Well, okay then, that was an effortless and easy peasy explanation. I think I may start using it.

Source: Amazing Talker, The Phrase Finder