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  1. #1
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default the meaning of "Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to presto"

    I've read an article about the difference between American English and British English. One sentences reads,

    I learned that when someone says to me, "Bill, you're a brick," they are not really likening me to an inert building material but complimenting me on some manifestation of solidity and reliability, that "Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to presto. I learned all this, and it took years, and I still get confused.

    I don't quite catch the second example. Does the author use this example to show the difference of pronunciation between American and British English or to continue illiustrating unexpected meaning of those words"Bob's your uncle"? Is presto here of the same meaning as is used in music?

    Looking forward to your explanation.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: the meaning of "Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to presto"

    Hey presto is used as a way of highlighting a result- magicians can say it just before they reveal the results of the trick, so in that sense it is similar to Bob's your uncle, but it is more theatrical, so they're not identical. Bob's your uncle means that you will achieve a result, while hey presto is for demonstrating a result IMO.

    Bob's your uncle - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com

  3. #3
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default Re: the meaning of "Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to presto"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Hey presto is used as a way of highlighting a result- magicians can say it just before they reveal the results of the trick, so in that sense it is similar to Bob's your uncle, but it is more theatrical, so they're not identical. Bob's your uncle means that you will achieve a result, while hey presto is for demonstrating a result IMO.

    Bob's your uncle - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com
    Thank you very much! I got it.

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: the meaning of "Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to presto"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Hey presto is used as a way of highlighting a result- magicians can say it just before they reveal the results of the trick, so in that sense it is similar to Bob's your uncle, but it is more theatrical, so they're not identical. Bob's your uncle means that you will achieve a result, while hey presto is for demonstrating a result IMO.

    Bob's your uncle - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com
    So the original ''"Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to presto' is misleading. It should have been '"Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to "[Hey] presto"'. Nowadays, I hear 'bingo' or 'voilą' more often than 'hey presto' in this sense.

    b

  5. #5
    cherylwhite153 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: the meaning of "Bob's your uncle" is roughly equivalent to presto"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Hey presto is used as a way of highlighting a result- magicians can say it just before they reveal the results of the trick, so in that sense it is similar to Bob's your uncle, but it is more theatrical, so they're not identical. Bob's your uncle means that you will achieve a result, while hey presto is for demonstrating a result IMO.

    I also find find English British hard to understand. Thanks for the answer. I'm learning as I read all these posts.
    Last edited by Tdol; 10-May-2012 at 13:37. Reason: Quote tag fixed

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