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Archive for May 3rd, 2009

“BOB’S YOUR UNCLE”

Bob’s your uncle is a commonly used expression known mainly in Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth countries. It is often used immediately following a set of simple instructions and carries roughly the same meaning as the phrase “and there you have it”.

As in…“You put the plug in here, press that switch, and Bob’s your uncle!”.

So who is Bob? Why Uncle Bob?

It’s a catchphrase dating back to 1887, when British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury decided to appoint a certain Arthur Balfour to the prestigious and sensitive post of Chief Secretary for Ireland. Not lost on the British public was the fact that Lord Salisbury just happened to be better known to Arthur Balfour as “Uncle Bob”. In the resulting furor over what was seen as an act of blatant nepotism, “Bob’s your uncle” became a popular sarcastic comment applied to any situation where the outcome was preordained by favoritism. As the scandal faded from public memory, the phrase lost its edge and became just a synonym for “no problem”.

Another theory, but less exciting, theory has it that it derives from the slang phrase all is bob, meaning that everything is safe, pleasant or satisfactory. This dates back to the seventeenth century or so (it’s in Captain Francis Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue of 1785). There have been several other slang expressions containing bob, some associated with thievery or gambling, and from the eighteenth century on it was also a common generic name for somebody you didn’t know.

“Bob’s your uncle” is also a way of saying “you’re all set”, “you’ve got it made!” or “that’s great!” and is used as an expression of jubilation at good fortune. It is used thus in the Alastair Sim film Scrooge, a version of the classic Dickens story A Christmas Carol, where a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge confronts his housekeeper, Mrs Dilber, on Christmas morning. He gives her a guinea (£1.05 in that era, and equivalent to about $100 today) as a Christmas present, and announces he will significantly raise her salary. In a burst of excitement the housekeeper responds, “Bob’s yer uncle! Merry Christmas, Mr Scrooge, in keeping with the situation!”

You can also find it’s usage in a number of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, notably Guards! Guards!, use the phrase to confuse, as the characters in question often do not have uncles named “Bob” and Discworld people tend to take things literally.

Cockney’s in East End of London I heard use it as “Bob’s your Uncle, Tilly’s a Trout” it’s enough to know about Uncle Bob, I have no idea who Tilly is… Perhaps it’s Bobs wife. I can’t find information about that variation anywhere.

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
Across the Pond
http://acrossthepond-storyheart.blogspot.com/
http://across-t-pond.com


OTHER BLOGS ABOUT GREAT BRITAIN:

THE GRAND NATIONAL
WHY UK DRIVES ON THE LEFT
MOTHERS DAY ACROSS THE POND
ABOUT THE UNION JACK
ENGLISHMANS VIEW ON BASEBALL
WHAT IS BOXING DAY
BRITISH TV TRANSPLANTS
WHO WAS SAINT GEORGE?

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One of the advantages for modern day writers is the internet where one can share your book to people all around the world without leaving your desk. I have gone into the benefits of “virtual book tours” with companies like “pumpupyourbookpomotion.com”. And how the way forward for authors and books has to be by the use of the internet.

Today a further example of such world wide book sharing and blogging entered my mail box (that’s email box).

A few weeks ago I was in contact with a lady blogger from Malaysia who I asked if she would like a copy of my book so she could review it. She was very pleased to have a chance to check out “Across the Pond”.

Tiqa like so many of these “Young Adult/Teen bloggers” is a keen reader even if she is in a country where perhaps YA reading is not as available as in the USA. At her blog “Good Girls Read Books” she states states…

I created this blog based on the reason that I live for books. I can’t get enough of books and I figure rather than I bore my friends about books, why not share it with people who enjoys it as much, and sometimes even more than I do? I live in Malaysia where its not really wonderful, if you see it from the YA world. But I do my best, and read books that I can afford buying.

I would like to dedicate this blog to those YA authors who made our life much better to live by, and for Dona (who was the girl behind this blog’s name)

Today as well as blogging about my book, she sent me the email of the details, here is part of what she wrote…

Overall conclusion – For as long as I’ve been reading YA, I’ve only read 3 books from a male perspective. I also wasn’t a big fan of the ‘exploring a new country’ type so I didn’t know what to expect from Across The Pond. The only hope I had was that it will change my thoughts on the type. Boy, it sure did.

The first thing I noticed about the book is how easy the word flows out, allowing you to embark on the journey itself and finding yourself discovering new stuffs as well. Fred Squire is a great character. I adored his shyness and I had a great time reading about his experience in USA. Across The Pond is an original twist from your typical YA book.

What I enjoyed the most was discovering the differences of Britain and USA. I live in Malaysia (where we use British English) so in a way, Fred and I are just discovering new things. The dialog and jokes are exceptionally funny. The romance in this novel is a lovely, sweet one. Brit is a great character and the emotions in Across The Pond is mostly genuine. I love how Fred was brave enough and how his character builds up from just one journey. This is one of the books that you will see yourself picking up in the next 10 years. Particularly, I find this novel a fun, easy, out going book and I definitely recommend it to everyone whose looking for a fun good read.

As fellow J.W Nicklaus author of “The Light, The Dark and the Ember Between” stated about the review…

“Getting reviews like that is what makes me glad I decided to have a go at publishing. You’ve made a positive impact on someone’s life, if only for the duration of their read . . . and that’s enriching far beyond what money can provide.”

JW… I TOTALLY AGREE
.. Such reviews are what keep us authors going!

Storyheart (Barry Eva)
Author of Young Adult Romance Novel
“Across the Pond”
http://across-t-pond.com

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