Just whistling Dixie.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dipti, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Dipti Member

    Hindi gujurati
    Hi guys,

    what does the following sentences mean :-

    (1) When the Buddha said that life was filled with suffering,he wasn't just whistling Dixie .

    (2) She has dark features.

  2. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    (1) He wasn't just talking about nothing, he wasn't exaggerating.

    That's tough, and I don't know where it came from.

    (2) Probably she has dark eyes, perhaps dark hair and dark skin. Could you give us some context?

  3. lainyn

    lainyn Senior Member

    Canadian English
    1) I'm not sure about this expression, but I think it might have something to do with the Doxology song that used to be sung in the United States. In this context "not just whistling Dixie" could mean "not just shooting bull", "not just speaking rhetoric".

    2) She has dark features means that she has brown or black hair, brown or black eyes, and a darker skin tone but not black per se, think Mediterranean area, or perhaps the Middle East or India.

    Hope I could help.

  4. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English

    Dixie is the name given to the South during the American Civil War. I guess the hymn or anthem of the South was the song Dixie, short for I wish I was in Dixie Land. I was raised in the South and the song was very popular when I was growing up. You can find the words, music and some history of the song HERE

    Here's the first verse and the chorus. The tune is very catchy. And easily whistled.

    I supposed that ''whistling Dixie (that is, the song Dixie Land)" was symbolic of support for the South. But the true test of loyalty to the South would have required more than just whistling Dixie. One would have had to take some serious action--like taking up arms against the Yankees.

    Anyhow that's my theory about why, ''you ain't just whistling Dixie'' means ''you're serious, you aren't just fooling around.''
  5. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    Natasha, I agree with you. :)

    Edwin, I think your explanation makes perfect sense. Other idioms:

    "Put up or shut up".
    "Empty words"
    "All talk and no action"

  6. te gato

    te gato Senior Member

    Calgary, Alberta
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    Hi All;

    Edwin is correct..it comes from the song...

    te gato;)
  7. Dipti Member

    Hindi gujurati
    Thanks Edwin.

    Your explanation is very helpful and interesting.
  8. lainyn

    lainyn Senior Member

    Canadian English
    Good job, Edwin, that was a beautiful explanation.

    Also, I don't mean to confuse anybody. My username is Lainyn, but my name is Natasha. (If I sign my posts with the wrong one by accident)
  9. CrimsonRchAngel New Member

    English - American
    The original second line to the song of Dixie was
    "cinnamon seed and sandy bottom"
    referring to the land in the southern USA. It was rewritten and published first in the norther USA If you google it you will find the name of the man that published the song as well as the many different ways it has been changed. More popular as an anthem at the time of the war was the song "Bonnie Blue" Flag which was written for the first flag of the confederacy but both songs were very popular in their right.
    the rest is for the most part correct, if you ain't just wistlun Dixie it meant originally that you didn't just profess your support for the south but you put your foot where your mouth was.
    thought I am a die-hard Southerner, in this day and age it can get you in some deep dark feature when you don't reconsider what you are going to say if you mean to follow it with your foot.. or fist, knife, gun or even the one that gets me the most the PC incorrect thought.

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