(Editor, with Sara Hawker) The Real McCoy: Why We Say the Things We Say, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005, published in England as The Real McCoy: The True Stories behind Our Everyday Phrases, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2005.
Georgia Hole's book The Real McCoy: Why We Say the Things We Say, which was published in England as The Real McCoy: The True Stories behind Our Everyday Phrases, was edited with Sara Hawker. The book explains many of the common expressions and phrases used in the English idiom.
The entries explain the roots of commonly used expressions. "Curry favor," for example, originates in the act of currying, or brushing, a horse to groom it; "mad as a hatter" refers to the condition suffered by hatters as a result of using mercury in the manufacture of felt hats; and "devil's advocate" was an actual title held by the person appointed by the Catholic Church during the process of beatification to challenge the candidate's sainthood.
Listed alphabetically and illustrated with entertaining cartoons, the entries include a short definition of the idiom, the story of how the expression evolved and entered into common usage, an explanation of proper usage of the phrase, and a look at how the meaning of the expression has changed over time.
In his review of The Real McCoy for the Mantex Web site, Roy Johnson called the book "an easy and lightweight approach to the subject." Joanne Wilkinson, reviewing The Real McCoy for Booklist, declared it an "appealing book" and described it as "addictive reading for verbivores and fine browsing material for everyone else."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2006, Joanne Wilkinson, review of The Real McCoy: The True Stories behind Our Everyday Phrases, p. 12.
Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2006, review of The Real McCoy.
Mantex,http://www.mantex.co.uk/ (June 7, 2008) Roy Johnson, review of The Real McCoy.
Oxford University Press Web site,http://www.oup.com/ (June 7, 2008) summary of The Real McCoy.