Bob’s your uncle

Bob’s your uncle is a term that refers to something that is accomplished easily, it is a British phrase. Bob’s your uncle seems to have sprung from an act of nepotism in Victorian times. Lord Salisbury, whose given name was Robert, appointed his nephew, Arthur Balfour to a series of political posts. The most serious appointment occurred in 1887, when Balfour was made Chief Secretary for Ireland. Balfour was ill-suited for such an important job, and the populace knew that the only way such an incompetent person would be achieve such a position was nepotism–Bob was his uncle. In time, Bob’s your uncle came to mean accomplishing something easily and with little effort.



If you’ve got really straight hair then that mousse stuff isn’t bad. Just whack a bit in, mess  it up and Bob’s your uncle. (The Mancunion)

I generally hate touch screens unless I’m using a tablet, but since you can use the R 13 as a tablet as well as a laptop, Bob’s your uncle. (The Canada Free Press)

Want more sales? Get your products online and Bob’s your uncle (The Sydney Morning Herald)

I’m not suggesting that anyone presented with the scenario above could rustle up a fun, passably enjoyable two-hour entertainment; but it does often feel as though Cyndi Lauper (music & lyrics), and Harvey Fierstein (book) sat down and went: OK, so we need an establishing song that gets us in the plucky-quaint British mood, some hi-NRG anthems to make the party go with a swing, a few soul-searching ballads to bring out the main theme of overcoming the baggage of disapproving fathers and arriving at acceptance – and Bob’s your uncle, or whatever they say Stateside. (The Telegraph)


Check Your Text


  1. So a man called Bob did his nephew a favour. Any evidence of how the Salisbury-Balfour affair passed into the language?

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