I was translating an online training course last week. The client likes to use a very informal, idiomatic tone of voice. At one point, the text in Dutch was ‘en klaar is Kees’ which I translated without hesitation as ‘and Bob’s your uncle’. And for the first time, I noticed that both expressions have a man’s name in them and both mean something like ‘and that’s that’ or ‘done’. Naturally, I had to go looking for the origins.
There are a number of explanations for the Dutch version, ranging from Kees being a frequently heard name long ago and the alliteration with ‘klaar’ giving it a certain ring to kees being a word for cheese in a certain dialect (making the meaning ‘the cheese is ready’) but the absence of a definite article seems to make that less likely.
The name Bob is given in the Netherlands to the designated driver, the person who drinks no alcohol so they can safely drive the others home. The Dutch don’t go for hard ‘b’ sounds on the end of words so Bob is pronounced Bop, rhyming with top.
The long version of the English expression is ‘Bob’s your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt’, all very incorrect, politically😉. Link to the song of the same name in the comments.
Does anyone know of similar expressions with a name in them in other languages?