"Mc-" prefix, 1963

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 24 17:59:14 UTC 2007

On 5/24/07, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
> a simpler type is the McX-y formula.  does this originate with Grey's
> Anatomy (with McDreamy and McSteamy, but also the even simpler McX,
> as in McVet, which is probably an ameliorated version of the
> McDonald's-based McX)?

Don't know if Grey's Anatomy originated the pattern, but it's
certainly responsible for the latest McX(-y) efflorescence. See, e.g.,
this forum thread on "McNaming" ("What McWords have you started using
since you started McWatching Grey's Anatomy?"):


> now, by the way, we have the pairing of McDreamy and McGreasy, in ads
> for the movie Sweet Home Alabama, where they refer to the two
> principal male characters.

That would be the USA Network playing on the fact that one of the
leads in the movie (which came out in 2002) is Patrick Dempsey, aka
McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy. When Eric Dane (aka McSteamy) starred in
the TV movie "Wedding Wars" with John Stamos last year, it was
promoted as McSteamy vs. McStamos.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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