#1 – “Bob’s Your Uncle”
Meaning: This British phase means, “all will be well” or “simple as that”
Origin: Back in 1887, Balfour was unexpectedly promoted to the vital frontline post of Chief Secretary for Ireland by his uncle Robert, Lord Salisbury – thus the nepotism which inspires the catch-phase.
#2 – “Don’t Try To Teach Your Grandma To Suck Eggs”
Meaning: Don’t offer advice to someone who has more experience than yourself.
Origin: This is an old phrase and is included in John Stevens; translation of Quevedo’s Comical Works, 1707. Back then, eggs are often eaten raw and it gained popularity among grandmas, especially those without teeth – considering it easy to ‘eat’ and healthy. Raw eggs eventually became an addiction to grandmas and they needed no instruction on ‘sucking’ them because they are so used to it.
#3 – “I’ll Eat My Hat”
Meaning: Used to display confidence in a particular matter
Origin: One of the early examples of this phrase would be from Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers, 1837: “If I knew as little of life as that, I’d eat my hat and swallow the buckle whole.” While it is not entirely clear why a hat of all other inedible things is chosen for consumption but there is a possibility that the ‘hat’ is of the large and florid headgear worn by the king and his courtiers, which would have been especially difficult to eat.
#4 – “A Lick and A Promise”
Meaning: Doing something in a hurry, most often incompletely, intending to return to it later.
Origin: This is colloquial English and is first recorded in print in Walter White’s All round the Wrekin, 1860: “We only give the cheap ones a lick and a promise.”
#5 – “Your Name Is Mud”
Meaning: You are not popular
Origin: There are two explanations to this actually. An older version of this comes from John Badcock’s Slang – A dictionary of the turf etc in 1823. Later on following President Lincoln’s assassination, this catch-phase was then made famous and easily associated with. John Wilkes Booth who shooted the President, broke his leg during the assassinaton. The doctor that gave him medical attention was Dr. Samuel Mudd. At the time, Mudd had no idea that Booth had committed the murder and made it to the headline for being a conspirator with Booth.
#6 – “There Is An ‘R’ In The Month”
Meaning: The weather is cold
Origin: The winter months between September to April have Rs but May to August don’t. The phrase is often used in the advice, “Don’t eat oysters unless there is an R in the month.”
#7 – “Have a Captain Cook”
Meaning: Have a look
Origin: A rhyming Australian slang. Example: “Have a Captain Cook at the booming property in Sydney.”