What Does Bob’s Your Uncle Mean?

Bob’s Your Uncle Meaning

Definition: All finished and all good.

People often use this expression to conclude a story about a problem that got solved.

Origin of Bob’s Your Uncle

This expression is more common in British English than in American English. An American equivalent would be and there you go.

The exact origin of this expression is unclear. However, it first appeared around the 1930s.

Some sources speculate that it relates to a powerful politician named Bob, whose full name was Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil. He was also known as Lord Salisbury. He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from the years 1895 to 1902. He allowed his nephew to become a powerful politician as well. This nephew probably wouldn’t have made a successful career without the benefit of his uncle’s nepotism.

However, other sources argue against this theory, since the expression didn’t become popular until many years after Lord Salisbury was out of office.

Another source presents the idea that it comes from the song Follow Your Uncle Bob, from the year 1931, written by John P. Long. This song includes lyrics about a man referred to as Uncle Bob, who will make everything all right.

Examples of Bob’s Your Uncle

bobs your uncle originHere is an example of a teacher using the expression in a math class.

Teacher: Okay, I know some of you think that calculus is difficult, but it’s not that hard. All you have to do is derive this part of the formula, do some calculations over here, and Bob’s your uncle! The equation is solved!

Student: That might have seemed easy to you, but I’m still completely confused.

bob is your uncle In this example, two friends are arguing over how to make friends at a party.

Monica: I’m too socially awkward to attend this party.

Janice: No, you aren’t! Why do you say that?

Monica: I never know how to meet new people.

Janice: It’s easy! You just say, “Hi, I’m Monica. What’s your name?” And Bob’s your uncle! You’ve met someone new!

Monica: But I don’t know what to say after that and it causes uncomfortable periods of silence.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article about how to feed your family on a budget.

  • You can use up pretty add any veg to add to your sauce, chop up mushrooms, courgettes or veg you can find on special. Bob’s your uncle you and your family meal for less than 3 euro. –Irish Mirror

The second excerpt is about how to remove stumps.

  • “Anyway, to get rid of the menace to the kick-rake and its driver, my father would set fire in them, leaving small fire to smoulder away for days on end, burning out the heart of the stump, leaving a hollow shell. Then we’d take the team to the shell, hitch a logging chain to the stump and the team would tumble it out on the ground. Put a dozen stumps together, set a fire under them to finish the burning, and Bob’s Your Uncle. New land for growing oats to feed hungry horses.” –Millstone News

Summary

The idiom bob’s your uncle is a chiefly British expression that means and that’s all there is to it.

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