David Muschell dmuschel at MAIL.GCSU.EDU
Fri Aug 6 11:55:07 UTC 1999


Being in the heart of Dixie, I have done some pretty extensive research on
Dixie (including all the ones on the internet site you provide).  Though
the minstrel show theory has ironic appeal, the bank note origin may be the
most likely.  The distrust of federal paper money in the early nineteenth
century, especially in the South, led many, many banks to issue their own
scrip.  With cotton king and New Orleans in an economic boom, several
banks, the Citizens Bank among them, had scrip that could be exchanged for
gold as far away as New York City, their assets being so sound.  The
mispronunciation of the French "dix" into a more Anglicized form makes the
"dixie note" and "the land of the dixie" a Yankee acknowledgement of the
economic power of the South in the early part of the century.  My research
is nine years old (working on my book _Where in the Word?_), so I'd have to
dig for my citations.  Once again, however, the origin is only one of
several possibilities, though economic pride and distrust in the central
federal government may offer more impetus to the word origin than
entertainment.  (I knew a Yankee who used the variation:  "Way up north
where I was born, early on one snowy morning, look away, look away, look
away, Michigan!").


At 10:59 AM 8/5/99 -0700, you wrote:
>So, my office mate, being from Louisiana, brought up the monetary
etymology of
>Dixie.  I really had thought much about the origin of Dixie (probably
>it was the Mason-Dixon line) until yesterday.
>I searched the ADS-L archive and didn't see any relevant postings.  So I
>searched the Web and came up with this:
>which presents several theories, nothing conclusive.  I was just wondering if
>any of the etymological wizards on this list have something more conclusive.
>Andrea Vine
>Sun-Netscape Alliance messaging i18n architect
>avine at eng.sun.com
>I always wanted to be an architect. }sigh{  Of course, I _am_ an architect.
David Muschell
Box 44
Dept. of English, Speech, and Journalism
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, GA  31061
dmuschel at mail.gcsu.edu

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