Talk:Leonard McCoy

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139 years old?[edit]

"He was born in 2227 and in 2366 he was named Chief medical officer..." That would make him 139 years old when he joined the Enterprise!

This article needs a little work as it's full of non-canon conjecture and speculation. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Star Trek. 23skidoo 20:13, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No human being can live to be 137 years old. It would be more credible to have his age at that time be 80, 90, or even 100. 05:21, 30 Apr 2005
Advanced medical technology. Noel (talk) 13:56, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

its not impossible to live to 137 just improbable. though to be fair in ep 1 of TNG they did have a old Leonard McCoy see the enterprise-D and shortly after pass away over age 100. if memory serves though i think he was around 110ish. as for living over 137 if we take relics as a example certain humans like scotty are technically over 150 but time spent trapped as pure energy in a transport buffer probally do not count. (talk) 17:31, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

yeah, I found a legit source that gave his DOB: January 20, 2218. (talk) 21:33, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

The Star Trek Encyclopedia[edit]

"In the time since its last publication, the Encyclopedia has become extremely out of date, with much of the conjectural, non-canonical information contained within it having been contradicted by the last two Star Trek films (Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek) as well as the last two seasons of Star Trek: Voyager and the most recent series, Star Trek: Enterprise. There are currently no plans to release an updated version of the Encyclopedia, as its usefulness has been greatly superseded in recent years by online, digital resources such as Memory Alpha." so I would suggest going with the one that has the complete date of birth. (talk) 21:53, 19 March 2013 (UTC)


Why was (Arguably one of the best lines was one never actually spoken in any episode: "I'm a doctor, not an actor!") appended to end of the list of "Im a doctor not a(n)"? If this the work of a jokester then it should be removed. 20:59, 28 February 2007 (UTC) Nate No, it wasn't a joke. And the statement as posted is accurate and non-offensive. So kindly let it alone. Once again, PLEASE LET THIS ALONE!!! There's not a reason in the world for you to keep deleting it: nobody appointed you censor, so a little courtesy and consideration would be much appreciated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

It violates WP:NPOV and WP:OR. Keep doing it, and at some point you'll be blocked. --Nlu (talk) 22:33, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I brought back mentioning of Dr. McCoy's "I'm a doctor" catchphrase that was spoofed on Nickelodeon's Unfabulous and the "Guide to Fundraising" episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. I have proof.

"...which has also made its way into many others shows such as Doctor Who,"

I don't claim encyclopedic knowledge of Doctor Who, but is there any other source for this other than the book quoted? David (talk) 20:16, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


Any idea where the nickname "Bones" comes from? What episode is it first used in?

I believe it is heard in the first regular episode produced, Corbomite Maneuver. 23skidoo 02:51, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Okay, but that doesn't answer the first question. Perhaps I'll reword it; is it ever explained where the nickname "Bones" comes from and, if so, where?
I came to this page with the same question, and I see that it has already been posted. If the answer becomes known, it could further enhance the article. Bob.v.R 16:36, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
It's never explained in the series, but "Bones" is short for "Sawbones", which is a colloquial term for a doctor. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 17:13, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
The nickname "Bones" was originally suppossed to be used by Captain Pike to refer to *his* CMO, Dr. Phillip Boyce. the nickname derives from Boyce's name. this much i know from Roddenberry's original draft. i'm guessing that since the nickname was never mentioned onscreen refering to Boyce, the crew decided to pass the nickname on to Dr. Mccoy. -- Captain Proton 12:07, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
As far as I know, fanon has it that it is short for "sawbones", an English idiom for a doctor. I don't know if this was ever explicitly stated on-screen in the original series, though. -Kasreyn 13:19, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

It's an old term for doctor, probably started in the civil war

Just to add my two cents, I believe (in the 2009 Star Trek) that McCoy says to Kirk "...the ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I got left is my bones." and Kirk started calling him Bones from that point in the movie on. I think it should be noted somewhere are page. --Oxico (talk) 00:43, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

"Sawbones" relates to surgeons in general, and ship's surgeons in particular, dating back to the 1700s at least, and is a reference to the ability to perform an amputation by 'sawing the bone' rapidly to try to save a life under conditions little short of horrific: no anesthetic, little idea of sanitation, much less sterile technique, and often under combat conditions. DocKrin (talk) 04:23, 26 December 2010 (UTC)


Can anyone provide a canonical source for McCoy's middle name? I don't recall it being said anywhere but I might have missed an episode. 23skidoo 02:51, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

From MA:
Several novelizations of movies have established McCoy's middle name as Horatio but this was never established on TV.
Now, that depends on the accuracy of MA's article... *shrug* Cburnett 04:10, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

He gives his middle initial as H. in ST III. David (talk) 16:00, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

That's all we need really, the films are "canon", a primary source but one that needs no interpretation (trying to remember, he says it on Vulcan at the end of the film, doesn't he?). Memory Alpha is a fan wiki, a pretty good one, but a fan wiki nonetheless. Such things aren't usually seen as a reliable source. Alastairward (talk) 11:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)


I am pretty unversed in star trek and Battlestar, but that last quote "I'm not a psychic.."etc doesn't seem to be related to my eyes. is there something that makes it more related than it seems? If they're not, then someone should remove it. if not, then someone should add more info! omglol. TastemyHouse 07:06, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

An historian or a historian[edit]

Re Dr. Bashir, it depends on how he pronounced as to whether he said "a historian" or "an historian" - did he say "Hiss-torian" or "Iss-torian" - did Alex Siddig pronounce the H or was it silent? When the leading consonant(s) are all silent, the natural pronounciation is to say "an" and therefore to spell it that way. GBC 21:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

5 years squeezed into 3[edit]

The start of Enterprise's original 5 year mission is listed as 2266, and then notes that "McCoy served until 2269, when the ship's five year mission ended." If the 2266 date is correct (source?) then obviously the 5 year mission ended in 2270. The Timeline of Star Trek indicates that the original 5 year mission was actually shortened to 3 years, again without citing a specific source.

I also have serious doubts that the events in Star Trek The Motion Picture happened so soon after the original 5 year mission ended (and certainly later than "Circa 2271"). One site -- -- says 2273, another -- -- lists the year as 2274, and yet another (which differs more significantly from the 5 year mission dates as well; 2270-2274/5) -- -- says 2277. ASpafford 02:27, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Grammar of article?[edit]

Some of the bio seems to be sort of awkwardly worded; for example, in some places it switches back and forth from past to present tense. Does this warrant marking it for clean up?

Crushedmidnight 19:37, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Some of the back and forth is due to writing about events actually depicted in the series, for which present tense is appropriate, and events alluded to but not depicted, for which past tense is appropriate. --EEMeltonIV 19:49, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


Was he third officer? Therequiembellishere 01:40, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I believe that was Scotty, but I could not supply a source for that. Crushedmidnight 21:29, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

typically, specialty officers such as physicians are not considered to be in the combat chain of command. DocKrin (talk) 04:25, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

by current naval combat laws and implied startrek regulations a doctor outranks the captian of a starship and if deems the situation necessary can a) relieve a captain of command or b) take direct control of the vessel. such situations are very rare and have lasting implications for the doctor, crew, vessel and even general moral that if situation a is ever done it is normally done so with the captain in private to save face. saying that though no bones was not 3rd officer. chain of command as per old episodes went kirk, spock, scotty, sulu, (checkhov after season 2), uhura (limited examples of command) (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:28, 23 July 2011 (UTC).

Memorable quotes[edit]

I removed this section. "Memorable" is subjective/non-NPOV -- strictly speaking, everything he says is to some degree memorable, and we're not going to put all his dialog there. "Notable" quotes would be more significant, but lacking a citation about what makes them memorable, that doesn't work either -- and WP:ILIKEIT isn't a reason to keep this, either. Lastly, straight-up quotes should be over in Wikiquote. If someone wants to move them over there, by all means... --EEMeltonIV 11:43, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


Why no reference to the Futurama episode where they show all the trekkies being killed and after each one is killed they say "he's dead jim"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:48, 3 May 2007 (UTC).

Quote: I'm a doctor...[edit]

Just to let you know, I have tossed in a few links to "I'm a doctor, not a(n)..." within wikipedia (Trials and Tribble-ations and Doctor (Star Trek), so far), and would just like to put up a general request not to remove the quotation marks or (n) from the section header, so that the links stay valid. Obviously, feel free to toss the tag into any article you see fit. Cheers, samwaltz 01:12, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

==Quote: I'm a doctor...== I'm not writing this to make changes to the article, per se. But perhaps someone will want to research this further and then possibly add something to "Quote: I'm a doctor...". Anyway, in the 1933 film, "The Kennel Murder Case", starring William Powell, the coroner, Dr. Doremus played by Etienne Girardot, has the "I'm a doctor..." schtick in his dialogue. According to imdb the quotes are: " I'm a doctor, not a magician.", "I'm a doctor, not a detective.", and, after becoming frustrated at being bothered around the clock to examine new dead bodies, usually involving interrupting his meal, he says, "I'm the city butcher, not a detective." I'm personally interested in the origins of motifs like movie quotes or musical lines, and I think that it helps to understand a particular work of art to know where things come from. Does "I'm a doctor, not a..." go back further than "The Kennel Murder Case"? Was it in the book? Anyway, I'm just throwing it out there to see if anyone wants to act on it.Dli04b (talk) 18:12, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I see in "I'm a doctor redux" that imdb is being diminished as a reliable source, which is fine, but to add credibility to my previous comment, I've seen and taped "The Kennel Murder Case" and I've heard the "I'm a doctor..." quotes in the movie. If there is a section here on McCoy's "I'm a doctor..." quotes, then it seems reasonable to add an etymology. Only, I don't want to do it. Someone more scholarly, and more versed than I am in wikipedia style and procedure should.Dli04b (talk) 17:46, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Quote: "He's dead, Jim."[edit]

Leonard McCoy page history extract:
•23:48, 9 November 2007 Ejfetters (list is trivia-like, and we don't really need a detailed list of each episode where this is said, not even its own section is needed)
•21:37, 22 November 2007 Milomedes (_Catch phrases - rm trivia tag - these notable phrases are embedded in the English language - I came here directly in linked discussion using one of them)
•16:02, 25 November 2007 Ejfetters (Undid revision 173168724 by Milomedes (there is no encyclopedic reason to list every instance he said it)

This is a list of 14 characters and 16 episodes where "McCoy frequently declares someone or something deceased with the line, "He's dead", "He's dead, Jim", or something similar."
Only 13 days after Ejfetters tagged it as trivia, I needed the list of characters, the list of episodes, and a section to link to show to others. (I needed to identify the instances when the character wasn't actually dead.) Since this catch phrase is embedded in the English language (my discussion was transatlantic), it's likely that the page is visited twice a month to examine this section.
An encyclopedia exists to tell us what we don't know. Since most of us already know that McCoy said this frequently, we visit the page to find out how frequently, about whom, and in which episodes.
I request consensus to detag the #Catch phrases section. Milo 01:45, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I just don't believe a complete list of every time he has uttered the words is encyclopedic. The article itself needs to be rewritten to conform to a real-world perspective, and much of the information listed is trivial. I don't think that stating that this was a catch phrase popularized is questionable, what I say doesn't need to be here is just the list of all the episdoes he said it was. The article needs much attention and a complete rewrite actually to match that of other Trek characters pages that were rewritten. Ejfetters (talk) 01:50, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the list of episodes where that phrase was used is trivia, or the same for other catch-phrases when they are important ones. This one is a classic phrase that has become part of culture beyond even the show itself so it's good for the encyclopedia to include the information to show where it came from. I even found some books that talk about it and one of them was written by a professor. There is a wiki rule about wikipedia not being made of paper and we have lots of room for things that might not fit in a regular printed encyclopedia. This is a good example of one of those kinds of things. Maybe the overview part of the article is too much like telling the story of everything Dr McCoy has done and can be written more in a more analytical way, but this part is good to keep the list of where he used that phrase. --Linda (talk) 04:10, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Maybe someone should add that Google Chrome is starting to use and adopt that catchphrase on killed webpages (Read here).LGFN (talk) 17:16, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Until this use garners some non-trivial coverage and discussion, it's yet another passing reference and homage, i.e. trivia that doesn't warrant coverage here. --EEMIV (talk) 17:54, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Police story[edit]

Can someone check this, please -- right now it reads that Roddenberry wanted Kelley for The Cage in part b/c he knew him from two other pilots. However, everything I've seen says Police Story came after The Cage. Does this need to be reworded? --EEMIV (talk) 14:22, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

The bio that I took it from said "A few years later, Kelley would appear in another Roddenberry pilot "Police Story." That didn't sell either, but it led to Star Trek and the unforgettable role of Dr. Leonard McCoy." TCM's bio of Roddenberry states that Police Story was written in 1967, after The Cage. Various other sources say the same.
I'll change it so that it simply says that Roddenberry knew Kelley from the other pilot. Alastairward (talk) 18:52, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Beat you to it :) --EEMIV (talk) 18:56, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, quite an edit history now! Alastairward (talk) 19:13, 26 January 2009 (UTC)


Kelley's bio is available in parts at Google Books.,M1

I've exceeded my page-views; if anyone wants to jump beyond page 156 (and before ~140ish), go for it! --EEMIV (talk) 16:38, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

"I'm a doctor" redux[edit]

I've restored the deleted section about McCoy's infamous "I'm a doctor, not a…" phrase because it's just as culturally significant and well-known as "He's dead, Jim". (The heading is also currently linked to from at least one other Star Trek article, "Far Beyond the Stars".) However, I agree with deleter EEMIV that it is quite a bit of unsourced trivia, and Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia with published sources for its factual information, even (and perhaps especially) when discussing subjects within fictional works.

To try to encourage editors more involved with this domain (I'm not too into ST anymore myself), I have added 1 such source to the assertion that this line is well-known, as well as a {{refimprove}} tag to encourage more sourcing efforts. I also strongly advise editors to trim it down significantly to avoid overwhelming the article with a huge list of examples. (We're trying to illustrate factual assertions, not be the Web's most complete source for Star Trek lists.) Bear in mind that EEMIV and other editors are well within their rights to delete large tracts of unsourced or trivial material if it's not properly edited into something worth of a general (as opposed to ST-specific) encyclopedia. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:50, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I've excised that tract again. If you'd like to restore the cited claim (although note that IMDb trivia is not a reliable source), feel free to do so. However, in the absence of evidence that this line has been subject to third-party commentary, it remains superfluous trivia better suited for Wikiquote. --EEMIV (talk) 01:24, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd remove it even then. If this is indeed "culturally significant and well-known", the would be boatloads of citable references of it. If citation from notable sources could be found, it would belong in a cultural impact section. - Arcayne (cast a spell) 01:44, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Arcayne, your wish is my command. I did what I should have done last night and rewrote the entire section, adding no fewer than 7 reliable sources (at least 2 of which are scholarly). In doing so, I also hacked down the laundry list of examples to a handful with some citations and some fact-tags. This puts it more in line with the previous section about "He's dead, Jim", to which I added citations of 2 of my sources because they support that phrase as well. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:06, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Jeff, nicely done. Alastairward (talk) 09:45, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Very well done. Way to go, li'l buckaroo! :) - Arcayne (cast a spell) 10:19, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I only wish I could do this more often. It's easy to write, and everybody does it. It's much harder to source and document, but so much more necessary because so few do it. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:37, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Wondering why my addition was reverted. Karl Urban as Doctor McCoy also used the line in the latest Star Trek reboot movie. See edit at 07:31, 25 May 2009 --Jonnybgoode44 (talk) 11:11, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Tangential and mis-placed. It was awkwardly tacked at the end of a list of *other* folks aping the line. And language like "carrying on the tradition" is just flowery puff. --EEMIV (talk) 17:34, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Dual picture for infobox[edit]

I think that, with the restart of the franchise, we need to create a side-by-side image of Kelley/Urban for the infobox. Thoughts? - Arcayne (cast a spell) 18:37, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I think it's unnecessary. The infobox picture should be of the original actor that played the character. Erikeltic (talk) 11:49, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Rather than replicating this discussion across all the character articles, let's please keep it centralized at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Star_Trek#Dual_picture_for_infobox. --EEMIV (talk) 11:54, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Spock insults[edit]

Why is there no listing of all the insults? "Pointy-eared hobgoblin, Green Blooded Son-of-a-bitch" and the like. It's integral to the character. All the ribbing was designed to provoke a response from Spock, usually appended with "Spock, you're becoming more human every day."

I assume it would be tagged as trivia and removed. It's mentioned that McCoy is a foil for Spock, perhaps you might cite a little mention of this aspect of the character and include it. Alastairward (talk) 13:32, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

McCoy's first wife[edit]

In the book "Star Trek: The Lost Years, it mentions his first wife's name is "Jocelyn", and in the new 2009 film he is leaving Earth after a divorce, perhaps that would be some character biographical information that would be of interest here, but I'm not sure where it'd be placed or how to source it besides the book, it's probably mentioned in other media also. (Floppydog66 (talk) 08:12, 6 May 2010 (UTC))


I removed the phrase " "sawbones" is no longer current slang for a medical doctor" from the article because there is no cited source for this etymological claim. Although perhaps relevant to the on- and behind-the-screens development of the character's nickname, such a generalization requires a cited source (probably to a producer or actor who carried the belief, accurate or not). --EEMIV (talk) 23:55, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

If you feel that a statement needs sourcing, please use the [citation needed] notation. Admitting that it may be relevant but deleting it from the article for lack of a source isn't cool. You also have not addressed (or apologized) for the use of Twinkle, so it makes it difficult for me as an editor to know if its really you doing reversions or an automated process, and I don't think it is cool to make other editors argue against an automated process. Akuvar (talk) 01:26, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
BTW, do you know the origins of Wapedia? Is that wiki related? I did a google search for "rodenberry sawbones" to see if I could get a hit for a source, and it returned this ( article, which is almost verbatim the wikipedia article. Akuvar (talk) 01:31, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, dumb me, it is wikipedia for mobile phones. Akuvar (talk) 01:32, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
See above: provide substantiation for the etymological claim of "sawbones"' use -- probably a quote from an actor/producer explaining their decision to "reinvent" the origin of the nickname -- or ditch the claim as WP:OR. There is no deadline; take your time, find the appropriate source if it exists, and slip it in (along with the claim) and all's well with the universe. --EEMIV (talk) 13:40, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I thought it apparent from my above post that that was what I was doing. Thanks. Akuvar (talk) 14:15, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

as I noted in the previous section, "Sawbones" was specific to surgeons starting at least as early as the 1700s. From a military standpoint, it was more a Naval term than an Army one, probably related to the detail that ship's surgeons were more closely integrated into the company because of the relative isolation compared to land base companies. From my experience in the medical field (35 years) with 12 of that being in military medicine, it's not the sort of epithet that would be bandied about unless there was a very, very close relationship.DocKrin (talk) 04:31, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, an editor's personal experiences or knowledge is not referenceable. If you could provide a source about the information you just gave, we could use it in the article. Akuvar (talk) 22:02, 26 December 2010 (UTC) (an anatomy and orthopedic modeling firm)

note that the last two include a reference to Dickens' Pickwick Papers. I believe that a notation in a popular book published in 1837 would speak to the age of the term. DocKrin (talk) 13:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Nyota Uhura which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 14:14, 29 September 2014 (UTC)