An Extract from The Real McCoy by Claire Cock-Starkey

The Real McCoy

It gives me great pleasure to feature Claire Cock-Starkey again on Linda’s Book Bag, this time with an extract from The Real McCoy. I have previously reviewed Claire’s The Book Lover’s Miscellany here and A Library Miscellany here.

Published by the Bodleian Library on 12th October 2018, The Real McCoy is available for purchase here.

The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy

The English language is rich with eponyms – words that are named after an individual – some better known than others. This book features 150 of the most interesting and enlightening specimens, delving into the origins of the words and describing the fascinating people after whom they were named.

Eponyms are derived from numerous sources. Some are named in honour of a style icon, inventor or explorer, such as pompadour, Kalashnikov and Cadillac. Others have their roots in Greek or Roman mythology, such as panic and tantalise. A number of eponyms, however, are far from celebratory and were created to indicate a rather less positive association – into this category can be filed boycott, Molotov cocktail and sadist.

Encompassing eponyms from medicine, botany, invention, science, fashion, food and literature, this book uncovers the intriguing tales of discovery, mythology, innovation and infamy behind the eponyms we use every day.

The perfect addition to any wordsmith’s bookshelf.

An Extract from The Real McCoy

Bloomers extract (1)

My review of The Real McCoy

A wonderful selection of word and phrase origins.

As with all Claire Cock-Starkey’s books, The Real McCoy is perfect for readers and writers alike as it delves into the origins of some of our best known sayings. I think it should come with a bit of a warning though. I fear it may set off an obsession in wanting to know more of this kind of information!

Brilliantly researched and organised alphabetically, The Real McCoy can be read in order, but I really enjoyed dipping in at random to see what came up. I love the fact that there is everything from Earl Grey Tea to Masochism between the pages of this volume – there really is something for everyone.

Whilst I knew some of the phrase origins, much of the information provided by Claire Cock-Starkey was at least enlightening and at times quite shocking. What I found out about Asperger made my blood run cold.

Once again Claire Cock-Starkey has produced a treasure trove of erudite, accessible, entertaining and interesting material. The Real McCoy is a gem of a book.

About Claire Cock-Starkey

Claire Cock Starkey

Claire Cock-Starkey started out in media, working at BBC Radio Four and Five Live before going on to work at LBC. Having had a family, Claire is now a writer and freelance copy editor always keen to work on new projects.

You can find out more by visiting Claire’s website and following her on Twitter @NonFictioness.

There’s more with these other bloggers too:

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