AE 474 – Expression: Bob’s Your Uncle
Ready to start. How’s it going, guys?
Welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the number one podcast for anyone and everyone wanting to learn Australian English, and I am so glad that you guys are here with me today, whether you are a longtime listener who’s been there since the very beginning, only a few years ago, I think, 2015, or it’s your very first time listening to this podcast, massive thanks to you guys, massive thanks to everyone who supports the podcast, whether it’s on Patreon, whether it’s by the Aussie English Classroom, my online learning environment, or whether it is that you have bought my courses in the past as well. This is how I keep myself going, guys. This is how I earn a crust, keep the lights on, and keep the wheels moving behind Aussie English. So, massive thanks to all of you guys.
So, today, we’re going to be talking about the expression, ‘Bob’s Your Uncle’, ‘Bob’s your uncle’. I wonder if you’ve heard this one before. But before we get into that, we’ll go through the Aussie joke, okay. So, here we go. Play on words. Bit of a pun. I love these pun jokes they’re a bit “punny”, if you get what I mean. I think they’re really useful because they give you an insight into our humor, you know, dumb jokes, but also play on words, right, how to manipulate words in English to make jokes, because they rhyme, because they’re spelled the same, etc. Okay? So, today’s joke:
Why was the cat disqualified from the race? Why was the cat disqualified from the race?
Because he was a “cheetah”. He was a “cheetah’.
Do you get it, guys? Why was the cat disqualified from the race? Because he was a “cheetah”.
A play on words between the word “cheater”, C-H-E-A-T-E-R, meaning someone who breaks the rules in a game in order to win, and the word “cheetah”, C-H-E-E-T-A-H, as in, the cat with spots, the fastest land mammal.
So, today’s expression, as I said, today’s expression is ‘Bob’s your uncle’. This was suggested by me in the Aussie English Classroom. As usual, we voted on this expression in the private Facebook group for members. I think I’m going to have to stop suggesting expressions, because I’ve won a few recently and I want you guys, the members, to be able to get your expressions up there. So, maybe I’ll skip a few weeks from now on, but ‘Bob’s your uncle’.
This is one that I use quite a bit. It’s one that I’ve heard a lot in the past. Let’s go through the definitions, we’ll go through the expression definition, then the origin, a few examples, a listen and repeat exercise, and then talk about coffee in Australia and some interesting facts about coffee.
So, ‘Bob’s Your Uncle’. ‘Bob’s your uncle’ also happens to be a cafe in Melbourne, and this was why I decided to do coffee as the Aussie fact for today. Okay? So, if you’re in Melbourne near Doncaster East, go check out Bob’s Your Uncle Cafe.
Anyway, so there’s a few different things going on here in ‘Bob’s your uncle’.
The first word ‘Bob’. ‘Bob’. This is a common English name and it is short for the name ‘Robert’. Okay? So, you might often meet people called Rob or Robert and their nickname might be Bob. Okay? “G’day Bob”. I think I had a bus driver when I was a kid named Bob.
The ”s’, guys, that is ‘is’ contracted onto Bob, as in “Bob is your uncle”.
‘Your’. I’m sure you guys know what ‘your’ is. ‘Your’ is the possessive pronoun for you. If it’s your thing, your uncle, in this case, it belongs to you. It is yours. Okay. Your uncle.
And ‘uncle’. I’m sure again you’ll know this word. Your uncle is the brother of your mother or father. Okay. And the sister of your mother or father is your aunt. Okay. Uncle and aunt. Uncle and aunt.
So, the expression, I wonder if you’ve heard it. I wonder if you know what it means. ‘Bob’s your uncle’. If someone says it it’s an exclamation, right. “Oh, Bob’s your uncle”. And it means, “and there it is” or “And there you have it”, okay? So, if you hear someone say ‘Bob’s your uncle’ they’re also sort of trying to imply or trying to say, but in a more informal lighthearted way, “There it is”, “There you have it”, “That’s how things are”. Okay.
And the French, you might know the French version of this. You may have heard or seen this in movies, and that is “Et voilà”. So, when someone says “Voilà” it’s kind of like, “There it is”, “There you have it”. You know, they might give you something and say, “Et voilà”, which is the French version of ‘Bob’s your uncle’.
So, the origin of this expression. I was having a poke around online trying to find out where this had come from, and though it isn’t certain where the origin of this expression ‘Bob’s your uncle’ comes from, it is a common theory that the expression arose after a conservative Prime Minister, Robert ‘Bob’ Cecil, appointed his nephew Arthur Balfour as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1887, an act which was apparently both surprising and very unpopular. You know, anytime you hire a family or get family appointed to a high position in government, that’s a bit of a no no. So, whatever other qualifications this guy Arthur Balfour may have had, ‘Bob’s your uncle’ was seen as the conclusive one, meaning that Bob was his uncle and that was the reason that he got the job. So, he got this job suddenly, there it was, there you have it, Bob’s your uncle. That’s why you got the job, because Bob was his uncle. Anyway. (It) may not be that, but that’s a funny theory nonetheless.
So, let’s go through three examples, guys, of how I would use the expression, ‘Bob’s your uncle’.
Example number one. Okay. In this example, I want you to imagine you are having a dinner party, (it) could be a barbie, (it) could be just a dinner party inside your house. You’re getting friends come over. You’re getting family to come over. There they’re bringing some food, they’re bringing some grub, they’re bringing some grog as well, something to drink, (it) could be soft drinks, but it could also be beer or wine or something. So, everyone’s arrived except for your father. He’s running late. Okay. So, you ring him up on the phone and you’re asking, “Where are you? What are you doing?”, and Bob’s your uncle, he shows up. He suddenly knocks on the door, you answer the door, Bob’s your uncle. There he is. There you have it. He arrives. Ah, there it is. Bob’s your uncle.
Example number two. In this one, I want you to imagine you are a chef, right. You’re a chef trying to explain to a sous chef or someone who’s studying to be a chef how easy it is to make lamingtons. Now lamingtons of this famous Australian… I guess, they’re a dessert, kind of a sweet, and they are sort of like black cubes or rectangular prisms that have coconut all over them. Okay? So, if you haven’t tried a lamington, next time you’re at a cafe or even at the supermarket, buy a lamington, give it a go, (and) let me know you think. So, you’re a chef trying to teach a student how to make lamingtons. You tell them about all the ingredients and the way to put them together, to combine them. So, you know, “Mix up the coconut, the milk, the sugar, the flour. Put it in the oven heated to 180 Celsius, and then Bob’s your uncle, twenty minutes later, you’ve got lamingtons. There you have it. You’ve got Lamingtons. That’s all you need to do. There it is. *Poof*. Bob’s your uncle, you’ve got lamingtons. That’s how you make lamingtons. It’s that easy.”.
Example number three. In this example, I want you to imagine that you are training to be a teacher. So, you’re at university, you’re doing a degree or a diploma in education, you’re really self-conscious, though, you’re filled with a lot of doubt. You don’t know if you’ll make it through, you’re not sure if you’re made of teacher material. You chat to your lecturer or your professor and tell him about your doubts and that you’re worried you’re not going to be the right person to be a teacher. He says, “Don’t be silly. You’ve got this. You can do this. You just have to learn a bit. You have to be training, a bit of hands-on work in the classroom, and then Bob’s your uncle, you’ll be a teacher in no time. So, in no time, in a very short period of time, there you have it, that’s all it is, Bob’s your uncle, you’ll be a teacher. Don’t sweat it. Keep your nose down. Work hard. Bob’s your uncle. You’ll be a great teacher in no time.”.
So, by now guys, I hope you understand the expression, ‘Bob’s your uncle’, ‘Bob’s your uncle’, this is there you have it or and there it is. It’s an exclamation when you’re sort of presenting someone with something or you’re trying to say that something is very easy and quick to sort of do, right. Bob’s your uncle and it’s done. It’s that easy.
So, let’s go through a little lesson and repeat exercise, guys, this is your chance to practice your pronunciation. So, if you just want to work on your English in general, ignore my accent, but say the words after me. But if you try to perfect that Aussie accent and you want a more general Australian accent when you’re speaking English, try and pronounce the words exactly as I do. Okay? Let’s go.
Bob’s your uncle x 5
Good work. So, now, this was a difficult one for me to work out how to conjugate into a sentence. So, I’ve just used it in front of a sentence, and then I’m using the phrase a verb “to show up”, which means to arrive or appear somewhere, right. I showed up, you showed up, he showed up. It’s in the past tense. Let’s go.
Bob’s your uncle. I showed up.
Bob’s your uncle. You showed up.
Bob’s your uncle. He showed up.
Bob’s your uncle. She showed up.
Bob’s your uncle. We showed up.
Bob’s your uncle. They showed up.
Bob’s your uncle. It showed up.
Great job, guys, great job. Remember, if you would like to go into more depth into learning Australian pronunciation, connected speech, intonation, all of that sort of stuff, get into the Aussie English Classroom at theAussieEnglishClassroom.com. There’ll be a link in this transcript, but you can also obviously search it online if that’s easier.
Now, there are loads of courses, and obviously, today’s expression episode will be a course in the Aussie English Classroom. It will come with extra videos for the pronunciation, specifically here, and how to connect the words that… the specific difficult things that I’m trying to pronounce here in Australian English. This is a kind of the tricks and tips and secrets to sounding more natural and connecting these words together. There’ll also be a video for vocab, the more complicated words in this episode. And then, I also go through eight interesting expressions that I’ve used in this episode. So, if you’re really into learning English on your own and you want to sort of boost your English learning and speed things up and absorb a lot more out of these episodes, I really suggest signing up at theAussieEnglish classroom.com . It’s just one dollar for your first 30 days, guys. So, you’ve got plenty of time to try it to see if it’s for you. So, give it a go.
Remember too, if you just want the transcripts or the MP3s for these episodes and all the other episodes on the podcast, then you can sign up at theAussieEnglishPodcast.com for the small fee of about $4.99 a month. That’s a coffee, guys. One coffee a month to get access to all of the transcripts, all of the MP3s, and you can download them, read them, listen to them anywhere, anytime, whenever you want. Anyway.
Today’s Aussie English fact, guys. So, today’s fact, because when I searched ‘Bob’s your uncle’ in Google, I found that it was a cafe in Melbourne. Bob’s Your Uncle Cafe. I thought, you know what, I’ll talk about coffee. Coffee’s a big thing in Australia. Not many people realise this until they get here and quite often they get shocked. They show up and they’re like, “Wow! There’s a lot of coffee and the quality of the coffee is really good and Aussies are obsessed with their coffee!”. So, I thought that I would do the Aussie English fact today on the history of coffee and some interesting coffee facts in Australia. Okay.
So, where does the love of coffee come from in Australia?
Obviously, British people who settled Australia in the late 1700s were obsessed with tea. So, they didn’t bring coffee with them. It actually wasn’t until the late 1920s that Australia got espresso coffee, and previous to that, they only had filter coffee, which you might know from the US. So, espresso coffee only arrived in the 1920s. The first commercial espresso machine was actually installed in Cafe Florentino, which is on Bourke Street in Melbourne in the year 1928, so ninety years ago. (It) seems like a long time, but compared to, say, places like Europe, we haven’t had coffee very long.
However, espresso coffee was still pretty niche until the 1950s when the Aussies really started to appreciate the bean. after World War II, two major things occurred which kicked off the coffee culture in Australia. Firstly, the Australian government lifted controls on the import of coffee. And secondly, the Australian government began a new immigration program, which brought in a heap of non-British European migrants. So, this is where we got a load of people from Greece and Italy, and these people were espresso-loving migrants. They loved espressos.
So, Italian style coffee lounges soon began popping up all over the shop in Australia, and by the 70s and 80s and then into the 90s, coffee culture really started to ramp up as coffee shops began to fill laneways, street corners, shopping centres, and other places all around Australia.
So, why is Aussie coffee so good?
There’s several reasons for the great quality of Australian coffee. Firstly, Aussie cafe owners use quality coffee beans. So, they sourced these from all over the world, they get them here, and then they bake the coffee beans themselves, and then they use espresso-based methods to create the coffee instead of, say, filter-based methods, like in places like the USA. Beans are also ground fresh-to-order, which gives the resulting coffee its full and flavourful taste. They’re ground just before the coffee is made. And then lastly Aussie barristers are highly trained, so they have to undergo practical barista training when they learn to master the art of making the perfect cuppa.
And as a side note, I think it’s a great profession to get into if you are a migrant coming to Australia and you want to get a job in, say, hospitality, working in cafes, getting trained up as a qualified barista is it going to lead you to always having a job, because cafes and restaurants always need good barristers.
So, a few more facts about coffee. Unlike in the US, 95% of coffee shops in Australia are owned by Australians independently, so they’re not owned by really big franchises. In fact, as an Australian, I specifically avoid big franchises when I want to get good coffee. So, I pretty much never go to Starbucks unless I’m in a bust and I really need my caffeine kick.
American-owned Starbucks tried to enter the Australian coffee market opening 84 stores Countrywide in the year 2000, but after only eight years, 61 of these stores were closed and that was because they couldn’t live up to the high-quality coffee standards of the average Aussie.
The most popular coffee in Australia is the cappuccino, which is sold on average 50,000 times every 30 minutes during the day.
A few more interesting facts.
Beethoven needed a precise 60 beans in one cup of his daily grind.
The coffee taste for the coffee company Costa–bit of a tongue twister that–has his tongue insured for 10 million pounds. Jesus!
The average Australian spends $494.59, nearly $500, every single year on coffee.
And the best time of day to consume coffee is between 9:30am and 11:30am, because your cortisol hormone, the one that regulates your metabolism and immune system, has plummeted in levels and caffeine causes it to rise in the morning.
So, that’s it for today, guys. I would love to know if you are a coffee fan yourself, and if so, what’s your favorite kind of coffee? For me, it’s definitely a medium sized cap with no sugar, a medium sized cappuccino.
Remember too, I’ve got a vlog on ordering coffee in Australia. So, if you go to YouTube type in “Aussie English ordering coffee”. You will see my vlog of me going around ordering coffee in Canberra.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me today, guys. I hope you enjoy this episode and I will chat to you soon. Peace!