Bob’s Your Uncle

Meanings of “Bob’s Your Uncle”

The phrase “bob’s your uncle” means everything is all right. It also means to get something done very easily. It also means “there you have it” or that “you have got it” without difficulty. ‘Bob’s your uncle’ is also considered equal to an American idiom “easy as pie.”

Origin of “Bob’s Your Uncle”

The phrase “bob’s your uncle” seems to have various potential sources of origin. It is stated that its earliest print source is a Scottish newspaper, The Angus Evening Telegraph, which published it with reference to a musical performance in Dundee where it has been used in the same words. The other source is stated to the lyrics of John P. Long’s song sung in 1931, where it has been used as “Bob’s your uncle.”

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Carmel by Shaun Cronick

I love to write a dark creepy poem now and again.
It helps being Catholic.
Just think of all the good and simply reverse it.
And Bob’s your uncle!
Your dark creepy uncle.
Who on the stroke of midnight.
Disappears outside into the woodshed.
What’s he up to?
What’s he hiding?
And why did he take the knife sharpener? …
There I go again.

This short poem is about a person’s faith and his access to things. The phrase is used in the fourth verse in the meanings that is quite ironic. Perhaps, the poet wants to state that creepy poems help him become religious. However, the point of one’s uncle at some good position helps to have access to things inaccessible to others.

Example #2

Shorter Dictionary of Catch Phrases by Rosalind Fergusson

Bob’s your uncle! All will be well: it’s as simple as that, as in you just press this switch, and Bob’s your uncle! Since around 1980. According to folk etymology, the origin of the phrase lies in the open and unashamed nepotism practiced by some British prime minister or other politician) such as the promotion of Balfour by his uncle Robert, Lord Salisbury). A longer variant of the phrase adds … and Fanny’s your aunt!

This passage about the origin, use, and meanings of this phrase occurs in the Shorter Dictionary of Catch Phrases by Rosalind Fergusson. It highlights its meanings of nepotism and its origin in the United Kingdom. It also shows the complete phrase that is often used with an exclamation mark.

Example #3

Cruise Confidential 2: Ship for Brains by Brian David Bruns

“No, I’m all right. Thanks.”
“Bob’s your uncle,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Bob’s your uncle,” he repeated, as if that explained everything.
“I presume that is some sort of top secret Canadian military code?” I asked, adding cryptically, “That moose is at the door.”

This passage tells us what happens at sea in the liners. This conversation takes place between two characters. One tells him something through this phrase to state that it is very easy, but the second character does not understand his intended meanings. Therefore, he asks it again, but the first character repeats the same phrase. The second character takes it as some military code. The meanings are clear that it is something done easily.

Example #4

Theft: A Novel by BK Loren

“Sedona?” He looked at me and chuckled.” Why are people always going to Sedona?” The woman sized me up, and Raymond raised his thick arm, pointed north. “Up the highway, about two hours, longer on the scenic route, either way you take the exit after Oak Tree and then Bob’s your uncle.”
“Bob’s my uncle?”
“Yup. Bob’s your uncle. You’ll be in Sedona.”

Here the narrator is going to Sedona, and he asks for directions. However, it is his colleague, Raymond. He directs him using this phrase by the end, which the narrator repeats as if he does not understand. Raymond answers in agreement. He adds that it means the end of his ordeal of reaching Sedona, or in other words, he means that he would be right there in the town.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Whenever there is any task to be done, Joe’s dad always says Bob’s is my uncle to make it sound easy.”

Example #2: “John acts like Bob is his uncle. He always has cool tricks up his sleeves. So, he is a confident man.”

Example #3: “Mother always warns, going to the airport is not like Bob’s our uncle. We have to follow the rules and pass the security.”

Example #4: “When are you are nervous about your new project, remember Bob’s your uncle. You can do everything when you put your mind to it.”

Example #5: “If you want to have a green tea, just pour a cup of hot water and dip your tea sachet, and Bob’s your uncle. Enjoy your tea!”