the 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

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

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 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 ?
In addition to being the executive producer and the creator for "The Real McCoy", Turner is currently writer and producer of the highly anticipated Indie film "Video Girl" (2010) starring Ruby Dee, Meagan Good, Haylie Duff and LisaRaye McCoy - A salacious narrative, loosely based on Turner's experiences working in the music video world.
* If you've ever used the expression "the real McCoy," you may be referring to Elijah McCoy.
But O'Leary seems to be the real McCoy. In two recent cases involving the security clearances of scientists who are, as it happens, old friends of The Progressive, O'Leary displayed admirable--and astonishing--determination to break with the Department's dismal past.
The one big show-stopping moment-of-truth musical number, however, was the real McCoy. When George Hearn sang "Silence" at the end of Act II, you could hear twenty different and distinct snuffles from the seats around you, and it wasn't backers mourning their investment.
Making the case for a "spaceport" at Prestwick in her Central Ayrshire constituency, the SNP's Philippa Whitford said: "For a debate as important as this, I felt that we should actually contact the real McCoy.
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. Held across two days it will showcase Discovery - Australia's infamous Daft Punk tribute band - headlining on Saturday in and around the new venues Alfie Birds & The Oobleck in the heart of Digbeth.
The expression 'the Real McCoy' must surely date back to his ancestors.
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
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.
With the help of lively illustrations, "All Aboard!" teaches young readers what the phrase "the real McCoy" truly means.
The real McCoy Music: No kidding, they're not faking it Last seen in these parts when they headlined the Stockton Riverside Fringe Festival in August, expect a set of tunes from across their 20 years in the business when The Charlatans' arrive for a gig at the Empire in Middlesbrough on Thursday night In a fantasy world Film: Stunning and unsentimental Spike Jonze's visually-stunning, heartbreaking adaptation of Maurice Sendak's beloved children's story is not a sentimental coming-of-age story viewed through rose-tinted spectacles.
Brian Holt's city centre manager David Hives explained: "James, whose suit is the real McCoy, had been booked to lure customers into a couple of shops in the Precinct and once he'd finished his stint he decided to pop in and see his mum.
It is authentic, it is roots, it is the real McCoy.
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