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[muh-koi] /məˈkɔɪ/
the genuine thing or person as promised, stated, or implied (usually preceded by the or the real):
Those other paintings are copies, but this one is the McCoy.
Origin of McCoy
1880-85; also Mackay, McKie, the clear McCoy (of liquor); of uncertain origin; hypothesized identifications with Mackay, a Scottish clan, and Kid McCoy, nickname of U.S. boxer Norman Selby (1873-1940), are unsubstantiated Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for the real mccoy


(slang) the genuine person or thing (esp in the phrase the real McCoy)
Word Origin
C20: perhaps after Kid McCoy, professional name of Norman Selby (1873–1940), American boxer, who was called ``the real McCoy'' to distinguish him from another boxer of that name


Tony, full name Anthony Peter McCoy. born 1974, Northern Irish national hunt jockey: champion jockey every season since 1995/96
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for the real mccoy


as in the real McCoy, 1881, said to be from Scottish the real Mackay (1883), of uncertain origin, though there are many candidates, including whiskey distilled by A. and M. Mackay of Glasgow (the phrase the real McCoy became popular during Prohibition to describe liquor); Charles S. "Kid" McCoy (1872-1940), former welterweight boxing champ; and a claimant for chief of the northern branch of the clan Mackay.

"By jingo! yes; so it will be. It's the 'real McCoy,' as Jim Hicks says. Nobody but a devil can find us there." [James S. Bond, "The Rise and Fall of the Union Club," Yorkville, Canada, 1881]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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the real mccoy in Culture

the real McCoy definition

The best of its kind, the real thing: “That homemade pizza was the real McCoy.” The source of this expression is the story of a famous prizefighter named McCoy. He had so many imitators that no one was sure which was the real one.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for the real mccoy



Genuine; legitimate; kosher: like every other McCoy biz (1930+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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