Uncle Tom Cobley and all
Uncle Tom Cobley and all is a quaint British expression signifying a seemingly interminable crowd of people and dates in this sense from the late 19th century. It derives from the chorus line of the old Devon folk song Widecombe Fair. The chorus line is in fact ‘Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all’ which is repeated after a list of six other names. It is highly likely that these names and Uncle Tom Cobley himself were all real, living people at the time on their way to Widecombe Fair as the song relates. The folk song itself is thought to date from the mid-19th century. The Devonshire Regiment adopted it as a marching song during the Anglo-Boer War.