[PW] Bobs your uncle -- but who is Bob?

solomons1pal at aol.com solomons1pal at aol.com
Sat Sep 11 09:17:25 PDT 2021


Colleagues,

The most common explanation of the origin of the British saying "Bob's your uncle!" is that it refers to the notorious nepotism of Lord Salisbury.  But as Wikipedia points out, the Salisbury scandal took place in the 1880's, and the first recorded expression of the saying does not occur until 1924 -- a long time after the scandal. My conjecture is that the "Bob" referred to is not Salisbury, but Field Marshal Lord Roberts (1832-1914), who was popularly called "Bobs".  If I'm right, a momentous change has to be made; it should not be "Bob's" but "Bobs's your uncle", with the apostrophe after the first "s", not before it.  Can anyone support or refute my conjecture?                     Mark Halpern


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