real McCoy

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

real McCoy

an authentic thing or person. Of course it's authentic. It's the real McCoy.
See also: McCoy, real
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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 Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
For more information on "The Real McCoy" or for your local listings, visit
Draw for Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy Stake: 1 Bearatipp, 2 Ballymac Gordie, 3 Highview Jayne, 4 Lenson Sanchez, 5 Drive On Vick (m), 6 Farloe Hunter (w) Best Car Parks Gold Cup second round, heat 1: 1 Kilara Hey Mac, 2 Service Station, 3 Kilgraney Tomson, 4 Burnt Oak Becky, 5 Honour And Glory, 6 Droopys Navas (w) Heat 2: 1 Stone Boy King, 2 Highview Triumph, 3 Priceless Lassie, 4 Aero Nemesis (m), 5 Fiery Splendour (m), 6 Budgie Bypass (w) Heat 3: 1 Elevenerife, 2 Lisdhu Blue, 3 Skyview Blue, 4 De Real McCoy, 5 Hillroad Jock (m), 6 Clares Wonder (w)
The Real McCoy Home Bar & Kitchen, B Wicklund Inc; Brandon Wicklund, applied for an addition/ change of class/in lieu to a license to operate as a direct shipment receiver; sell spirits/beer/wine; sell wine off premises at 114 Prospect St., Bellingham, WA 98225.
REIGNING World Darts Champion Adrian Lewis hoped to prove he was the real McCoy when he played alongside workers from a Billingham factory.
Enjoy Scotland's ultimate guide to going out on the town or just staying in Moving on from Katy Perry was the real McCoy for Travie
With the help of lively illustrations, "All Aboard!" teaches young readers what the phrase "the real McCoy" truly means.
EVERY bar that serves its Sunday roast on huge square plates calls itself a gastropub these days, but The Monro, on Duke Street, is the real McCoy.
It is authentic, it is roots, it is the real McCoy.
The real McCoy; the true stories behind our everyday phrases.
'It is the real McCoy and is bound to create a lot of interest,' he said.
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.
and today you have the chance to witness AP McCoy's full story in the new DVD/video release, The Real McCoy.
( or Thawte Consulting (, can tell you which Websites are the real McCoy. "You don't want your customers to be subjected to someone who sets up a bogus site and collects [their] sensitive information," says Hash.
Well, perhaps, but there are still lots of good lines and very funny acting from Keith Drinkel, Daniel Kruyer, Vicki Michelle, Carol Harrison along with Suzie Chard and Sally Chattaway (as the real McCoy).