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Author Topic: "Bob's Your Uncle"?  (Read 2093 times)
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2009, 03:35:08 am »

We do?  Huh
Captain Spooner
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

Just your average tinkering steamy ninja.

« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2009, 10:30:58 am »

And here I though "bob's your uncle" was in reference to Sir Robert (I can not for the life of me remember the family name) the person who formed the London police force hence giving rise to the British police officer being called Bobbies.  The idea being that if the head of the police was your uncle it was unlikely that you would have any problems. Guess I was misinformed.

Later in life, I have dealt with, for example, the problem that many people from the UK and Northern Europe (including my Norwegian relatives) have with scale and distance differences. Here again, the movies have lied, if only by jump-cuts between parts of the country that are a good 1500km apart in real life, and hence a bit more than a casual short drive. I cannot, for example, motor up to the Grand Teton range over the weekend, although if I left this evening after work, I might, Donner Pass weather permitting, be able to breakfast in Reno.

I had an acquaintance who told me of her UK friends who planned a 1-week visit to the US, where they planned to arrive in NYC, drive to DC, on to DisneyWorld, then to St Louis, etc, etc.

She was forced to inform them that NYC to Orlando was a 2-day drive.

America, where 100 years ia a long time
Europe, where 100 miles is a long way.

Just to tell my little story of British misconception of scale in relation to the U.S. When I was attending Michigan Tech I met a recently arrived student from England who upon discovering that I was just from the other end of Michigan and that I had left something at home asked why I didn't just take a quick afternoon trip to my parents house to pick it up rather than have it mailed. I then had to inform him that said trip would involve a 10 to 11 hour drive each way. The puzzled look as he pondered this was priceless. I could almost hear his thinking "there is no way that it could be that far".


"It is the mark of the cultured man that he is aware of the fact that equality is an ethical and not a biological principle."
-Ashley Montagu
United States United States

Pirate and Master of Ceremonies

« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2009, 02:38:48 am »

In some places in Britain, "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.

This is the way I've always heard it, oddly enough.

And as to the size of the US, I recently read a Straight Dope column with a (I thought) rather pithy bit:

Travel 500 miles in Europe and you might go through several languages and national histories. (And only ten years ago you would have needed several currencies.) If I travel 500 miles, I'm in Pennsylvania.

Untitled Steampunk rap album coming soon
Herr Döktor
Gadgeteer, Contraptionist, and Inventor, FVSS
Master Tinkerer
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Herr Döktor, and friend.

« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2009, 08:50:40 pm »

The whole distance thing also works the other way:

Last year, I took a week's holiday on the Isle of Wight, and even though I'm familiar with the island, I still looked at the map of it in the magazine on the ferry, and wondered if it would be more than an hour's drive to the other side of the island, where I would be meeting friends, so I duly drove off the ferry and followed the signs...

...and fifteen minutes later, reached my destination.


United States United States

Pirate and Master of Ceremonies

« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2009, 09:17:00 pm »

As an aside, I know a man called Bob Zyerunkel.
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