"take a Dixie"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 16 15:05:27 UTC 2010

At 10:52 AM -0400 8/16/10, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>The late '70s date suggests that "take a Dixie " means "take a fall" (when
>it does mean that) because of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."
>Down, get it?  And the people were singin', "Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah
>nyah!"  Well, maybe not "nyah."  But I do think the song is a likely
>If anybody needs to leave the room to "take a Dixie," it may have
>been influenced by the Dixie Cups used for urine specimens.  And leaving the
>room is just a subset of leaving in general or "taking a powder" as the
>prehistoric set would have it.

All plausible (there was a reference to the dixie cups used for urine
specimens in one of the WikiAnswers posts), but note that none of
these tumbles or powder-takings really motivates the  Uecker use
where "take a Dixie" apparently = 'die'.


>On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 9:32 PM, Philip E. Cleary <philipcleary at rcn.com>wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       "Philip E. Cleary" <philipcleary at RCN.COM>
>>  Subject:      Re: "take a Dixie"
>>  On 8/15/2010 6:15 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>>  > Google Answers has a question in 2003 that suggests two meanings:
>>  > "took a dixie" meaning a "fall" or "disappearance", as in "taking a
>>  powder"
>>  I remember hearing the expression in the mid or late 1970s. A kid
>>  tripped on a toy and fell, and his father said, "You took a dixie."
>>  Phil Cleary
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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