The Real McCoy


The origin of phrases is often full of urban legends. One which has a wide variety of heritage is ‘The Real McCoy’ meaning “the real thing” or “genuine article”. So where did this phrase come from?

The Cowboy

Some say that Joseph McCoy, a 19th Century American entrepreneur who was famous for promoting the transportation of over 200,000 longhorn cattle. Because of his reputation and reliability, he was often cited as saying “The Real McCoy”.

The Boxer

The second option was a boxer, Norman Selby, who boxed under the name Kid McCoy born in 1872. He was listed  # 1 Light Heavyweight of all time and because he was so good, a lot of people tried to pretend to be him. AS such he adopted the phrase “The Real McCoy” to identify himself.

The Whisky

There are some though who say that it actually derives from a corruption of a Scottish phrase “The real MacKay”, first recorded in 1856 as: “A drappie o’ the real MacKay,”. The distillery, who saw the power of advertising used this phrase to promote their whisky and it took off so much that soon became the phrase we still hear today.

With it being Burn’s Night it seems fitting that we raise a dram to perhaps give it to the Scots the Real McKoy.

Author: Raphaelle

Creative | Futurist | Misfit. Freelance Digital #marketing, #social & #product #strategy and #engagement. Founder of ArtSpotter. Mixing up something marvellous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: