[ dik-see ]
/ ˈdɪk si /


Also called Dixieland, Dixie Land. the southern states of the United States, especially those that were formerly part of the Confederacy.
(italics) any of several songs with this name, especially the minstrel song (1859) by D. D. Emmett, popular as a Confederate war song.
a female given name.


of, from, or characteristic of the southern states of the United States.


    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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for whistle-dixie


/ (ˈdɪksɪ) /


mainly military a large metal pot for cooking, brewing tea, etc
a mess tin

Word Origin for dixie

C19: from Hindi degcī, diminutive of degcā pot


/ (ˈdɪksɪ) /


Northern English dialect a lookout


/ (ˈdɪksɪ) /


Also called: Dixieland the southern states of the US; the states that joined the Confederacy during the Civil War
a song adopted as a marching tune by the Confederate states during the American Civil War


of, relating to, or characteristic of the southern states of the US

Word Origin for Dixie

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



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

Culture definitions for whistle-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.