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  1. #1
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    Question Uncle *** is here

    I am now working on translating a script and I found the phrase "Unlce *** is here". (*** is a character's name).
    What does this mean?

    The character tells his wife that he'll buy her a gift to make up with her, where he says "Uncle...".

    I appreciate your help!

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Hello Gonta, welcome to UE!

    It's a little difficult to say, without more context; but uncles are popularly supposed to be genial, generous people.

    So by saying "Uncle X is here!", he is humorously presenting himself in a kindly, benign, generous, indeed avuncular light.

    It is possibly also a little self-deprecatory; uncles and aunts tend to be regarded as harmlessly asexual, by their nephews and nieces. Perhaps that's what the character wishes to imply, in your context: generous, but without "ulterior motives".

    All the best,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Really do need more context. Is it possible something more sinister is going on here? I've heard that "Bob's your uncle" is what a woman tells her children to hide the fact that she's having an affair. And of course "cry uncle" means to surrender. I wonder how many uncle idioms there are.

    best wishes at new year's
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Gonta, welcome to UE!



    It's a little difficult to say, without more context; but uncles are popularly supposed to be genial, generous people.

    So by saying "Uncle X is here!", he is humorously presenting himself in a kindly, benign, generous, indeed avuncular light.

    It is possibly also a little self-deprecatory; uncles and aunts tend to be regarded as harmlessly asexual, by their nephews and nieces. Perhaps that's what the character wishes to imply, in your context: generous, but without "ulterior motives".

    All the best,

    MrP

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Hi MrPedantic and baqarah131,

    Thank you for your reply!
    It is very interesting to know that there are many phrases and expressions using "uncle".

    I'll add more context. On the day, the character called John (around 50 years old) tried to buy her the accessory which she wanted. But the shop was closed and he couldn't buy it.
    Then, he bought a bunch of roses for her. Thanks to this, he was able to make up with her. So, he thought he would not need the accessory for her (because they already made up), and he said OK when his friend Mike asked him if he could buy his girlfriend the accessory. John's wife got angry again to hear that and John says sorry and he will go to the shop earlier than anyone to buy it. She says OK, and he says "Uncle John...." and both of them together ends the phrase saying "...is here". She is smiling, seems satisfied, while he also seems relieved to see her smile.

    John is a kind of a character who is always desparate, irritated facing some little accidents and unfair things. The story itself is a comedy unsparing and self-deprecating! So, "generous, but without ulterior motives" might be implied...

    I hope those context helps.

    Best wishes for a happy new year!

    Gonta

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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Thanks! It sounds like Mr. Pedantic's explanation was right on the money.

    Good luck with the translation!
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonta View Post
    Hi MrPedantic and baqarah131,

    Thank you for your reply!
    It is very interesting to know that there are many phrases and expressions using "uncle".

    I'll add more context. On the day, the character called John (around 50 years old) tried to buy her the accessory which she wanted. But the shop was closed and he couldn't buy it.
    Then, he bought a bunch of roses for her. Thanks to this, he was able to make up with her. So, he thought he would not need the accessory for her (because they already made up), and he said OK when his friend Mike asked him if he could buy his girlfriend the accessory. John's wife got angry again to hear that and John says sorry and he will go to the shop earlier than anyone to buy it. She says OK, and he says "Uncle John...." and both of them together ends the phrase saying "...is here". She is smiling, seems satisfied, while he also seems relieved to see her smile.

    John is a kind of a character who is always desparate, irritated facing some little accidents and unfair things. The story itself is a comedy unsparing and self-deprecating! So, "generous, but without ulterior motives" might be implied...

    I hope those context helps.

    Best wishes for a happy new year!

    Gonta

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Is "John" the character's name? I am wondering if there is some extremely topical reference here.

    Edward, there's "Dutch uncle" and "Uncle Tom" to add to your list. (I seem to be surrounded by racist language tonight :) )

    [not a teacher]

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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Uncle Tom in Canada is an expression used by First Nations people to describe an Indian who is overly fond of the white man's ways. I've also heard Uncle Tomahawk.
    Uncle Sam is the government of the United States, especially the military and the tax collection people.
    Uncle John was Stalin, at least for a while.

    There are more, but I'll sign off before I bore forum members to the point where they cry uncle.

    regards
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    Is "John" the character's name? I am wondering if there is some extremely topical reference here.

    Edward, there's "Dutch uncle" and "Uncle Tom" to add to your list. (I seem to be surrounded by racist language tonight :) )

    [not a teacher]

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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    How interesting! "Uncle Tom" of course comes from the character in the influential 19th century American novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It is used here as a disparaging term for an African-American person who is perceived as toadying to whites. And now we have "Uncle Tomahawk." Wow.

    Goodness, I forgot all about Uncle Sam.

  9. #9
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonta View Post

    John's wife got angry again to hear that and John says sorry and he will go to the shop earlier than anyone to buy it. She says OK, and he says "Uncle John...." and both of them together ends the phrase saying "...is here". She is smiling, seems satisfied, while he also seems relieved to see her smile.
    Seeing the larger context, I now wonder whether it's a running private joke, within the context of the play, or a reference to some previous incident.

    (Sorry to muddy the waters.)

    MrP

    PS: Stalin Uncle John or Uncle Joe?

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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    Default Re: Uncle *** is here

    Stalin was Uncle Joe. Sorry, I've got to do a better job of proofreading.
    thanks
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Seeing the larger context, I now wonder whether it's a running private joke, within the context of the play, or a reference to some previous incident.

    (Sorry to muddy the waters.)

    MrP

    PS: Stalin Uncle John or Uncle Joe?

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