McCoy

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Related to McCoys: Hatfields and McCoys

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

the Hatfields and the McCoys

Any group or pair of parties engaged in bitter feuding or infighting. Alludes to an infamous feud between two rural families along the border between Kentucky and West Virginia. The country's population is becoming more and more the Hatfields and the McCoys, as we drift further and further to the extremes of the political spectrum and demonize anyone on the other side. A vocal and influential group of programmers within the company were bitterly dissatisfied with the trajectory of the business, leading it to become something of the Hatfields and the McCoys for a number of years, before the programmers left to form their own company.
See also: and, McCoy

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 McCoy

verb
See also: McCoy

real McCoy, the

The genuine article. This term probably originated in late nineteenth-century America, when a young boxer named Norman Selby changed his name to Kid McCoy and began a spectacularly successful career in the ring. For years he averaged a fight a month, winning most of them by knockouts. Hoping to capitalize on his success, numerous other boxers adopted the name Kid McCoy, but on March 24, 1899, the real Kid, in a now legendary bout, finished off Joe Choynski in the twentieth round. The next day’s headlines in the San Francisco Examiner proclaimed, “Now you’ve seen the real McCoy,” and that description stuck. In real life McCoy was actually a con artist and criminal. But in 1904 the New York Evening World said, “Notwithstanding the hullabaloo of his life and the mischief of his legend, McCoy with his wondrous speed and guile may be the first, greatest gentleman of this fresh age” (quoted in a review of a novel based on McCoy’s life, New York Times, June 6, 2002). Although this etymology is more or less verifiable, there are several other theories as to the term’s origin. Chief among them is that a Scotch whiskey made by the MacKay company was called the real Mackay or McCoy.
See also: real

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."
See also: and, McCoy

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 classic literature ?
Again Captain Davenport consulted McCoy and the chart.
Captain Davenport and the first mate, revolvers in hand, were advancing to the break of the poop, when McCoy, who had climbed on top of the cabin, began to speak.
McCoy's face was beaming with childlike pleasure as he descended from the top of the cabin.
They were Young, John Adams, McCoy, who was my great-grandfather, and Quintal.
"Yes, they were very bad," McCoy agreed and went on serenely cooing of the blood and lust of his iniquitous ancestry.
"It is the evaporation from the big lagoons--there are so many of them," McCoy explained.
'mcCoy's presence was a rebuke to the blasphemies that stirred in his brain and trembled in his larynx.
During the night, light, baffling airs blew out of the south, and the frantic captain, with his cargo of fire, watched and measured his westward drift and went off by himself at times to curse softly so that McCoy should not hear.
"It is Raraka," said McCoy. "We won't make it without wind.
From the deck the land was invisible, and McCoy went aloft, while the captain took advantage of the opportunity to curse some of the bitterness out of his heart.
"Hold her up, Captain," McCoy said as soon as he reached the poop.
'mcCoy started forward to take up his position on the bow in order to con the vessel in; but the captain gripped his arm and whirled him around.
They made a blind rush to gain the boats, but McCoy's voice, carrying its convincing message of vast calm and endless time, stopped them.
'mcCoy, in the shelter of the mizzen-shrouds, continued his difficult task of conning the ship through the intricate channel.
"She'll make it," McCoy assured him with supreme confidence.