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Dixie

[dik-see]
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noun
  1. Also called Dixieland, Dixie Land. the southern states of the United States, especially those that were formerly part of the Confederacy.
  2. (italics) any of several songs with this name, especially the minstrel song (1859) by D. D. Emmett, popular as a Confederate war song.
  3. a female given name.
adjective
  1. of, from, or characteristic of the southern states of the United States.
Idioms
  1. whistle Dixie, to indulge in unrealistically optimistic fantasies.

Origin of Dixie

1855–60, Americanism; often said to be (Mason-)Dix(on line) + -ie
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for whistle dixie

dixie1

noun
  1. mainly military a large metal pot for cooking, brewing tea, etc
  2. a mess tin

Word Origin

C19: from Hindi degcī, diminutive of degcā pot

dixie2

noun
  1. Northern English dialect a lookout

Dixie

noun
  1. Also called: Dixieland the southern states of the US; the states that joined the Confederacy during the Civil War
  2. a song adopted as a marching tune by the Confederate states during the American Civil War
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the southern states of the US

Word Origin

C19: perhaps from the nickname of New Orleans, from dixie a ten-dollar bill printed there, from French dix ten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for whistle dixie

Dixie

n.

1859, first attested in the song of that name, which was popularized, if not written, by Ohio-born U.S. minstrel musician and songwriter Dan Emmett (1815-1904); perhaps a reference to the Mason-Dixon Line, but there are other well-publicized theories dating back to the Civil War. Popularized nationwide in minstrel shows. Dixieland style of jazz developed in New Orleans c.1910, so called from 1919.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

whistle dixie in Culture

“Dixie”

An American song of the nineteenth century. It was used to build enthusiasm for the South during the Civil War and still is treated this way in the southern states. It was written for use in the theater by a northerner, Daniel Decatur Emmett. As usually sung today, “Dixie” begins:

I wish I was in the land of cotton;
Old times there are not forgotten:
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with whistle dixie

whistle Dixie

Engage in unrealistic, hopeful fantasizing, as in If you think you can drive there in two hours, you're whistling Dixie. This idiom alludes to the song “Dixie” and the vain hope that the Confederacy, known as Dixie, would win the Civil War.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.