Real McCoy

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 14 05:10:41 UTC 2001

>Does anyone know of any sources of discussion or documentation about the
>etymology and origin of "the real McCoy," other than sources mentioned in
>the entry in the Historical Dictionary of Slang?  I already have copies
>of the Peter Tamony files on this expression.
Fred, does the RHHDAS entry (which I don't have on me) entertain a
premise concerning a derivation from a Scottish term for a high
quality whisky which was then exported to the US and applied (the
term, not the whisky) to "an outstanding boxer whose name happened to
be McCoy"?   So Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, at least.
Partridge is involved in this story, so there may be the usual
emphasis on the Fable part.


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