Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Uncle.

 Uncle.Uncle Sam. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Uncle.
 
Gone to my uncle’s. Uncle’s is a pun on the Latin word uncus, a hook. Pawnbrokers employed a hook to lift articles pawned before spouts were adopted. “Gone to the uncus” is exactly tantamount to the more modern phrase “Up the spout.” The pronoun was inserted to carry out the pun. In French, “C’est chez ma tante.” At the pawnbroker’s.   1
 


 Uncle.Uncle Sam. 

 
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