Blog Tour: The Real McCoy by Claire Cock-Starkey

Hello everyone, welcome to my blog for the next stop on the blog tour for The Real McCoy, the new book by Claire Cock-Starkey. And here it is:

The Blurb

From diesel to gerrymandering, the English language is rich withSamhain—words that are named after an individual. The many histories behind these words are often mesmerizing—a word named, incidentally, after the German physician Franz Mesmer, who developed the practice of hypnotism as a form of therapy.

Deriving from numerous sources, eponyms are full of intrigue. This book features one hundred and fifty of the most interesting and enlightening specimens, delving into the origins of the words and describing the fascinating people after whom they were named. Some honor a style icon, inventor, or explorer, such as pompadour, Kalashnikov, and Cadillac. Others have roots in Greek or Roman mythology, such as panic and tantalize. Still others are far from celebratory and were created to brand the negative association of their origins—into this category can be filed boycott, Molotov cocktail, and sadist.

Encompassing words from medicine, botany, invention, science, fashion, food, and literature, this book uncovers the curious tales of discovery, mythology, innovation, and infamy behind the eponyms we use every day. The Real McCoy is the perfect addition to any wordsmith’s bookshelf. 

About the Author

Claire started out working at BBC Radio Four and Five before going on to work at LBC. Then she ended up finding her spiritual home working with Ben Schott, as a researcher for Schott’s Almanac and was a series editor for eleven different editions. Other opportunities presented themselves for London and American papers whilst she was there.

Family life beckoned and post-nappies she decided to set up as a freelance writer and editor. In between the Lego project management and the business of family life, she has written books, this being her latest. Heaven to her is the British Library reading rooms, rootling through the obscure to find the gem that will make her next book.

As a special treat there is an extract:

My Review

Some people reach that ultimate accolade of having something named after them and making it into the dictionary. Some you would have heard of; Rudolf Diesel managed to get a type of engine and a fuel named after him. The opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba had a dessert and a type of toast named in her honour and the Douglas Fir is named after the Scottish botanist, David Douglas

Lots of people have managed to get places on the planet named after them, Everest, Hudson Bay and Bolivia are three examples, but some of the stranger eponyms that appear in here, mesmerise, Apgar, dunce and praline are some of the few covered in this fascinating little book. There are the weird and wonderful too, a dish that has cultured almost countless numbers of cells was developed and named after the Julius R. Petri, a Germ bacteriologist, the greengage and boysenberry are named after people too and the Scoville will blow your mind.

I had read two of her previous books, The Book Lovers’ Miscellany and A Library Miscellany, so was really looking forward to this one. Whilst this isn’t about books, it is about the English language which is another of my favourite things to read about. There are 150 different eponyms and is a perfect little book for those who also have a passion for words and their origins. The research is meticulous and because of that, this is full of tiny details and anecdotes that make it an entertaining read. If there was one tiny flaw, I would have liked more of it to read.


Don’t forget to take a look at the other blogs on the tour:

Created with GIMP

And head over to Claire’s website too: www.nonfictioness.com

Thank you for stopping by.

Please follow and like us:

1 Comment

  1. Fab review and a perfect Christmas present for my husband!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2018 Halfman, Halfbook

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑