the real McCoy

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

the real McCoy

Something that is genuine, authentic, or exactly what it is claimed to be; the real thing. The origin of this phrase is not definitively known. A: "The traveling salesman said this diamond was the real McCoy!" B: "And you believed him?" Boy, that superstar lawyer they brought in is the real McCoy. She's the one who took down Big Oil in court!
See also: McCoy, real

real McCoy

an authentic thing or person. Of course it's authentic. It's the real McCoy.
See also: McCoy, real

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.
See also: McCoy, real

the real McCoy

the 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.’
See also: McCoy, real

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.
See also: McCoy, real

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 also: McCoy, real

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.
See also: McCoy, real
References in periodicals archive ?
The Real McCoy Home Bar & Kitchen, at 114 Prospect St, Bellingham, WA 98225, received approval on an addition/change of class/in lieu to a license to operate as a direct shipment receiver.
Glastonbrummy is a tribute festival for those of us who missed out on the goldustlike tickets for the real McCoy.
When I lived in the Midlands, around the time when the TV programme Steptoe and Son was broadcast, we had the real McCoy coming round asking us for old clothes and any bric-a-brac that we wished to sell them.
Racing was yesterday celebrating the real McCoy - and, despite what the critics say, it should also celebrate a very real victory.
ACCEPT nothing less than The Real McCoy this weekend
It is authentic, it is roots, it is the real McCoy.
The TV favourite, who has appeared on the Real McCoy, Jonathan Ross and The Lenny Henry Show, appears at Dogma Bar on Sunday for a Comedy Rootz show.
He recently embarrassed 22--year-old Sienna by telling her that she was to stop hankering after him like a lovelorn puppy every time they go out but the real McCoy seems to have proved a bit of a drag.
Reuters' similar dateline policy is intended to ensure that "people know what they get from us is the real McCoy," said Bernd Debusmann, one of the wire's news editors.
After Furman had scored a shock 1-10 8-7 2-1 win, Price said, ``Instead of the Real McCoy, the world championship portable rink which we used at Potters in Norfolk last month, we have had to play here on a poor surface.
To be in with a chance of winning one of these super prizes answer the question below and send your answer on a postcard along with your name, address and telephone number to The Real McCoy Competition, Daily Post Sport, Liverpool Daily Post and Echo Ltd, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB, before the closing date of December 18.
And it's the real McCoy,'' the 58-year-old Bass bragged.
and today you have the chance to witness AP McCoy's full story in the new DVD/video release, The Real McCoy.
He said even if it is not the real McCoy, subscribers wouldn't know.
Full browser ?