The Edmondson Blog

Uncle Bob

The well known phrase, “Bob’s your uncle” used immediately following a set of simple instructions and roughly meaning “…and if you do this, you cannot fail” refers to the British Prime Minister, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquis of Salisbury.

In 1887 he appointed his nephew, Arthur James Balfour, as Minister for Ireland. The press had a field day when Balfour referred to the Prime Minister as “Uncle Bob” and immediately the humorous implication that to have Bob as one’s uncle was a guarantee of success took hold.

Balfour later went on to become Prime Minister himself.

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