In an episode of Fawlty Towers, Basil Fawlty uses the phrase "And Bob's your uncle". Unfamiliar with it, I looked the phrase up on Wikipedia, which described it this way:
Typically, someone says ["And Bob's your uncle"] to conclude a set of simple instructions, similar to the French expression "et voilà!" or the American slang expressions "...and that's that," or "...and there you go!"
Thinking about it more, I can see a variety of phrases going into this slot. Consider the example sentence,
Take the bread out of the bag, put the bread in the toaster, push the button down, and -- PHRASE -- you've got toast!
In the place of PHRASE I have heard some of the following:
- What do you get/have?
- Whaddaya know?
- Isn't that something?
- Drumroll, please
- Badda-bing, badda-boom
- Surprise, surprise
- (Abracadabra) alakazam!
A word I learned recently is phatic:
a phatic expression /ˈfætɨk/ is one whose only function is to perform a social task, as opposed to conveying information
Phatic nearly seems to fit, except:
- The PHRASE, though less informative than its neighbors, may have another function: to indicate the list is ending
- Even though some definitions allow for building emotional rapport ("of, relating to, or being speech used for social or emotive purposes rather than for communicating information"), which the examples do with suspense or anticipation, the examples I find tend to be about pleasantries such as talking about the weather
The examples need not interrupt the list, as shown in the Fawlty excerpt:
[If] it turns out you don't like your room, then we could always move you in here, but I don't think it's worth doing until you've definitely decided that you don't like that one as much as this one, and then we can sort of sit down round a table, discuss it, chew it over and ... and then it will be a piece of cake. Bob's your uncle...."
Most generally, I'm looking for a term with the definition "a phrase (usually with the audience's emotional state in mind) concluding sequential statements." This definition also covers phrases like "And then I found five dollars" (used when the speaker fears they have bored their audience).
Is there a term to describe this pattern?