Definition of Dixie in US English:


proper noun

  • An informal name for the southern states of the US.


  • whistle Dixie

    • Engage in unrealistic fantasies; waste one's time.

      ‘until you nail down the facts, you're just whistling Dixie’
      • ‘They ain't whistling Dixie when they say they don't make them like they used to.’
      • ‘I'm inclined to believe that the Sheik is just whistling Dixie.’
      • ‘If a garden doesn't drain, you're whistling Dixie.’
      • ‘The board is whistling Dixie as it thinks it can summon up a contesting bid higher than $4.17 without showing a very sharp rise in recurrent earnings.’
      • ‘Sharon rebuked him ever so slightly but is really whistling Dixie.’
      • ‘Republicans have good reason to whistle Dixie.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, linguists ain't just whistling Dixie when they say there are no linguistic limits to the number of coordinates.’
      • ‘Easton ain't just whistling Dixie either; she's been involved in this community as an active and family-minded member for several decades.’
      • ‘Dean wasn't just whistling Dixie when he made his infamous remark about reaching out to bubbas bearing Confederate flags.’
      • ‘When those fish on your hook move their lips, they aren't just whistling Dixie, they're trying desperately to keep on breathing.’


Mid 19th century: origin uncertain. The phrase ‘Dixie's land’ is first recorded in the 1859 minstrel song ‘Jonny Roach’, typically attributed to the minstrel performer Daniel D. Emmett. Emmett also wrote and performed ‘I Wish I Was in Dixie’ later in the same year; this song, now known simply as ‘Dixie’, became enormously popular during the American Civil War and led to the association of the name with the American South.