McCoy(redirected from McCoys)
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Related to McCoys: Hatfields and McCoys
an authentic thing or person. Of course it's authentic. It's the real McCoy.
real McCoy, the
Also, the McCoy. The genuine thing, as in That painting's not a reproduction-it's the real McCoy. This idiom has a disputed origin, but the most likely source is its use to distinguish welterweight champion "Kid McCoy," the name used by Norman Selby (1873-1940), from other boxers using his name to capitalize on his popularity. [c. 1900]
See also: real
the real McCoy
If you describe something as the real McCoy, you mean that it is the original, rather than a copy, and is therefore the best. Most smoked salmon on the market is pretty nasty stuff but this was different — this was the real McCoy. Unlike some other products which are promoted as the real McCoy, this is a genuine Indian product. Note: There are several suggestions about who the original `McCoy' was, including an American boxer, a liquor smuggler, and a Kansas cattle dealer. However, it is more likely that the expression was originally British, and that `McCoy' was originally `Mackay'. There was a 19th century whisky manufacturer called Mackay who advertised his product as `the real Mackay' to distinguish it from other brands with similar names. Alternatively, the expression may come from a dispute between two branches of the MacKay clan over which was older. Eventually the MacKays of Reay, or the `Reay MacKays', won the dispute.
the real McCoythe real thing; the genuine article. informal
The origin of this phrase is unknown, but it appears in the form ‘the real Mackay’ in a letter by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883 . McCoy is glossed as ‘genuine liquor’ in a 1930 edition of the American Mercury.
1992 Jeff Torrington Swing Hammer Swing! ‘How d'you know the armour's real?’ ‘Oh, I'm sure it's the real McCoy.’
the ˌreal McˈCoy(informal) the original and therefore the best type of something; the best example of something: It’s an American flying jacket, the real McCoy. ♢ This apple pie is the real McCoy. I haven’t eaten one like this for years.This idiom possibly refers to the American boxing champion Kid McCoy. So many people pretended to be him that he started calling himself Kid ‘The Real’ McCoy.
the (real) McCoy
1. n. something authentic. This is the real McCoy. Nothing else like it.
2. n. pure drugs or alcohol. If it’s not the real McCoy, I don’t want it.
See the real McCoy
See also: McCoy
the Hatfields and the McCoys
A long-lasting and bloody feud. The Hatfields and the McCoys were two warring families who lived along the West Virginia-Kentucky border. The 1865 murder of a McCoy, a returning Union soldier, allegedly by a band of Confederate sympathizers was attributed to a member of the Hatfield family. The death sparked some thirty years of hatred and much bloodshed between the two clans, a situation that was hardly improved when a McCoy woman ran off to live with a Hatfield who ultimately abandoned her. As word of the lengthy feud spread across the country and for years after it was settled, the two sides became a metaphor for neighborly bad blood. When, for example, two families stopped talking when one chopped down a tree on the property line between them, others in the neighborhood were likely to refer to the situation as “the Hatfields and the McCoys going at it."
the real McCoy
The genuine article. No one is certain how “McCoy” came to stand for authenticity. It may refer to a Scottish clan leader named McKay; a prizefighter named Kid McCoy, who had a rival with the same name; or a bootlegger whose wares were what he claimed they were.