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Re: 'everyone/everybody and his/their uncle'

Posted by Gary on August 18, 2003

In Reply to: 'everyone/everybody and his/their uncle' posted by GPP on August 18, 2003

: Meaning, roughly, way too many people.

: There's an interesting discussion of this phrase, and of "Uncle Tom Cobley and all", at
: http://pub122.ezboard.com/fwordoriginsorgfrm1.showMessage?topicID=7503.topic , with a link to
: http://www.btinternet.com/~mark.cobley/uncletc/widecom.html .
: Is anyone in the UK, or elsewhere, familiar with the 'Tom Cobley' expression to mean the same thing--or something else?

'Uncle Tom Cobley and all' is known in the UK as a line from the song Widecombe Fair. It is probably fading from the memory of most and I doubt many people under 20 would have heard it at all. It means 'all of an assorted crowd of people' - the human equivalent of 'everything; including the kitchen sink'. I've not heard it used in conversation for many years.