uncle(redirected from uncles)
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To admit defeat and/or plead for mercy, especially in an informal physical contest of some kind. The brothers often play fought, but it was invariably the younger of the two who had to cry uncle by the end.
An exclamation of defeat and/or a plea for mercy, especially in an informal physical contest of some kind. Uncle! Uncle! Let me out of this headlock already!
everybody and his uncle
Used hyperbolically to express a large number or a majority of people. I'm so jealous, everybody and his uncle is going on a vacation this summer except for me.
everyone and his uncle
Used hyperbolically to express a large number or a majority of people. I'm so jealous, everyone and his uncle is going on a vacation this summer except for me.
an Uncle Tom
A derisive term for a black person who is submissive or servile to white people. The phrase refers to the titular faithful black servant in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. He was once a passionate activist, but he's become an Uncle Tom.
Bob's your uncle
A phrase used to emphasize how easily or quickly something can be done. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in one pot, let it cook, and then Bob's your uncle, dinner is ready!
To admit defeat and/or plead for mercy, especially in an informal physical contest of some kind. Can also be used as an imperative phrase to demand that someone give up or admit defeat. The brothers often play fought, but it was invariably the younger of the two who had to say uncle by the end. Say "uncle," and I'll let you out of this headlock!
One who addresses someone severely or critically. Fred is always lecturing me like a Dutch uncle, forgetting the fact that I'm 40 years old!
everybody and his brother
A lot of people. The phrase is not only used to apply to men. Geez, everybody and his brother was riding the subway with me this morning—I could barely push through the crowd at my stop!
(well) I'll be a monkey's uncle
An expression of surprise or amazement. Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle—Shane actually managed to get his movie made.
A personification of the United States or its government, typically portrayed as a man with a white beard. It seems like Uncle Sam is always taking more and more taxes out of our paychecks.
Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all
And a large number of other people; et al. Used to indicate that a list of people is frustratingly long. An allusion to a folk song called "Widecombe Fair," the chorus of which lists a large number of people ending with "Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all." Sometimes spelled "Cobley." Primarily heard in UK. Everyone from the Prime Minister, the Governor of Bank of England, the Mayor of London, the Director of the International Monetary Fund to Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all convinced us that we needed these austerity measures to survive the recession, yet here we are nearly a decade later, and information comes to surface that this was all an elaborate con job.
Uncle Tom Cobley and all
And a large number of other people; et al. Used to indicate that a list of people is frustratingly long. An allusion to a folk song called "Widecombe Fair," the chorus of which lists a large number of people ending with "Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all." Sometimes spelled "Cobleigh." Primarily heard in UK. Everyone from the Prime Minister, the Governor of Bank of England, the Mayor of London, the Director of the International Monetary Fund to Uncle Tom Cobley and all convinced us that we needed these austerity measures to survive the recession, yet here we are nearly a decade later, and information comes to surface that this was all an elaborate con job.
a man who gives frank and direct advice to someone. (In the way an uncle might, but not a real relative.) I would not have to lecture you like a Dutch uncle if you were not so extravagant. He acts more like a Dutch uncle than a husband. He's forever telling her what to do in public.
everybody and his brotherand everybody and his uncle
Fig. everybody; lots of people. The state fair was packed. Everybody and his brother was there. Everybody and his uncle was asking me where you was today.
holler uncleand cry uncle; say uncle
Fig. to admit defeat. Joe kept pounding on Jim, trying to get him to holler uncle. He twisted my arm until I cried uncle.
I'll be a monkey's uncle!
Fig. I am amazed! A: I just won $500,000 in the lottery! B: Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!
talk to someone
1. Lit. to speak to someone; to confer with someone. Talk to me! I really want your opinion. I will have to talk to Mark to see what he thinks.
2. Fig. to lecture to someone; to reprimand someone. I wish you would talk to your son. He is creating havoc in the classroom. I am going to have to talk to Roberta. She is not getting things clean.
See also: talk
Also, say uncle. Concede defeat, as in The Serbs want the Bosnians to cry uncle, or If you say uncle right now, I'll let you go first in the next game. This phrase originated about 1900 as an imperative among school-children who would say, "Cry uncle when you've had enough (of a beating)." By the mid-1900s it was being used figuratively, as in the examples.
A stern, candid critic or adviser, as in When I got in trouble with the teacher again, the principal talked to me like a Dutch uncle . This expression, often put as talk to one like a Dutch uncle, presumably alludes to the sternness and sobriety attributed to the Dutch. [Early 1800s]
Also, give a talking to. Scold, reprimand, as in The teacher said he'd have to talk to Jeff after school, or Dad gave us both a good talking to. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s] For talk to like a Dutch uncle, see Dutch uncle.
See also: talk
Bob's your uncleBRITISH
You can say Bob's your uncle to show that something is easy and quick to achieve. You just tag along with a teacher for a while, and in a year, Bob's your uncle, you are a teacher too. If the boiler ever gets too hot, the safety valve releases all the excess steam, and Bob's your uncle. No problem. Note: This expression dates back to a political scandal in Britain in 1886. The Prime Minister Robert Cecil gave his nephew the position of Chief Secretary for Ireland, and many people criticized him for this. The name `Bob' is short for `Robert'.
Bob's your uncleeverything is fine; problem solved. British informal
Bob is a familiar form of the name Robert . The origin of the phrase is often said to be in the controversial appointment in 1887 of the young Arthur Balfour to the important post of Chief Secretary for Ireland by his uncle Lord Salisbury , whose first name was Robert . The problem with this explanation is that the phrase is not recorded until the 1930s.
1996 Colin Bateman Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men I couldn't believe how easy it was to get. Just walked into a shop, signed a piece of paper, and Bob's your uncle.
a Dutch unclea kindly but authoritative figure.
Dutch here probably means no more than that the person described is not a genuine blood relation. In the mid 19th century I will talk to him like a Dutch uncle (meaning ‘I will give him a lecture’) was noted as being an American expression.
1999 Daily Telegraph She was the kindest of Dutch uncles, always prepared to listen to one's troubles.
I'll be a monkey's uncleused to express great surprise. informal
cry (or say or yell) unclesurrender or admit defeat. North American informal
1989 Guy Vanderhaeghe Homesick Beat him six ways to Sunday and he still would never cry uncle or allow that there was an outside chance of his ever being wrong.
Uncle Tom Cobley (or Cobleigh) and allused to denote a long list of people. British informal
Uncle Tom Cobley is the last of a long list of men enumerated in the ballad ‘Widdicombe Fair’, which dates from around 1800 .
1966 Guardian It seems clear that a compromise, half-way solution had equally been ruled out by Government, Opposition, economists, press, TV, Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all.
(and) Bob’s your ˈuncle(British English, informal) often used after explaining how to do something, solve a problem, etc. to emphasize how easy it is: To make the alarm go off at the right time, you just press this button, set the clock, and Bob’s your uncle! Bob is a short form of the name ‘Robert’. This phrase might refer to the prime minister Robert Cecil. In 1887 he unexpectedly decided to give an important government position to his nephew, who was not considered a very important politician.
Uncle ˈSam(informal) a way of referring to the United States of America or the US government: He owed $20 000 in tax to Uncle Sam.The name probably comes from expanding the initials US.
cry/say ˈuncle(American English) admit that you have been beaten or defeated: They’re determined to make the President cry uncle in the budget debate.Originally, this comes from children’s games in which the child has to say the word ‘uncle’ to admit defeat.
Mr. Whiskersand Uncle Whiskers and whiskers (man)
n. a federal agent. (Underworld. From the whiskers of Uncle Sam.) Mr. Whiskers is trying to get me to pay tax on those few bucks. If Uncle Whiskers finds out what you’re doing, you’re done for.
See also: Whisker
See Mr. Whiskers
tv. to admit defeat; to give up. I never say uncle. I just keep right on going.
n. a policeman. Watch out for Uncle nab. He’s been asking about you.
Uncle (Sam)and Uncle Sugar
1. n. the personification of the U.S. Uncle Sugar wants a little more of your money this year.
2. n. a federal agent; federal agents. Uncle has some pretty strong ideas about who’s in charge of this investigation.
An impossibility. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, especially the notion that man was descended from apes, was greeted with much skepticism, and especially in parts of the English-speaking world where Creationism held sway. Hence the expression “Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle,” which was used to show grave doubts about any and all seemingly improbable situations. Another animal phrase used by doubters and scorners was “when pigs fly.”