No one’s entirely sure where or how the phrase “Bob’s your uncle” came from, although the most popular theory appears to be that it started when a Conservative party Prime Minister named Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (the “Bob” in question), made the political appointment of his nephew, Arthur Balfour, as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1887 — a rather cushy assignment that was so clearly an act of nepotism as to be immensely unpopular. If “Bob’s your uncle,” everything was fine. The closest I ever got was to have my friend Bob G, a kindly big bear of a guy, who gets a friendly paw-wave and a hope that all’s well in his world.

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