Trivia

Hard

The Phrase “Bob’s Your Uncle” Comes To Us By Way Of?

A USDA TV Ad
A British Prime Minister
An Australian Comedian
Civil War Era War Bonds
A photograph of Robert "Bob" Cecil, a.k.a. Uncle Bob.
National Portrait Gallery, London

Answer: A British Prime Minister

A common phrase in British English, and used by families with British and Commonwealth ancestry in other countries, is “Bob’s your uncle”. The phrase is roughly equivalent to the American phrase “piece of cake” and implies that whatever instructions you were just given or whatever the odds in front of you are, things will be easy.

While “piece of cake” seems to have a pretty straightforward etymology—eating a piece of cake is easy and pleasurable after all—“Bob’s your uncle” is a rather odd, and seemingly intimate, turn of phrase. Who is Bob, after all? What bearing does him being your uncle have on the ease of something?

A lot, it turns out, if your uncle Bob is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom that is. Back in 1887, then sitting Prime Minister Robert “Bob” Cecil appointed his nephew, Arthur Balfour, as the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The move both surprised the public and the general attitude was that whatever qualifications the young politician had, the most important one was that Bob was his uncle. The whole event apparently made enough of an impression that “Bob’s your uncle” has persisted, for a century and change, as a British idiom.

Trivia

Hard

The First Person To Be Honored With A Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star For Live Performances Was?

Trivia

Easy

What Popular GPS-Driven Activity Centers Around Hidden Containers?

Trivia

Hard

Which Country Has The Highest Number Of Atomic Element Discoveries To Its Name?

Trivia

Hard

Long Before Modern In-Car GPS Systems, Motorists Used Automated Directions Provided By?

Trivia

Very Hard

Magneto’s Distinctive Helmet Is Modeled After A Real World Helmet Known As A?

Trivia

Hard

The First Nuclear Merchant Ship Was The?

Trivia

Easy

What Is It Illegal For The U.S. Treasury To Print On Currency?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Featured The First Widely Known Easter Egg?

Trivia

Hard

Up Until The 1960s A Much Sought After Shade Of Brown Paint Was Made From?

Trivia

Hard

The Tallest Planetary Mountain In The Solar System Is Located On?