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be whistling Dixie

slang To have an unrealistic, usually overly optimistic, view of something. "Dixie" was an anthem of the Confederacy, the losing side of the US Civil War. Primarily heard in US. You're whistling Dixie if you think we're making the playoffs this year.
See also: Dixie, whistle

be not whistling Dixie

slang To have a realistic or honest view of something; to be speaking truthfully. "Dixie" was an anthem of the Confederacy, the losing side of the US Civil War. Primarily heard in US. It sounds like they really are laying people off in January. You weren't just whistling Dixie, Bob! They've threatened to fire their missiles on civilians; I don't think they're whistling Dixie.
See also: Dixie, not, whistle

not just whistling Dixie

Rur. not talking nonsense. (Alludes to a song titled "Dixie.") Man, you are right! You're not just whistling Dixie. When you say she is wrong, you're not just whistling Dixie.
See also: Dixie, just, not, whistle

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie.

Rur. You are right. Tom: Sure is hot today. Bill: Yeah, you ain't just whistlin' Dixie. It's a scorcher. Charlie: That was a good movie. Jane: You ain't just whistlin' Dixie. It was the best I've ever seen.
See also: Dixie, just

whistle Dixie

Engage in unrealistic, hopeful fantasizing, as in If you think you can drive there in two hours, you're whistling Dixie. This idiom alludes to the song "Dixie" and the vain hope that the Confederacy, known as Dixie, would win the Civil War.
See also: Dixie, whistle

not be whistling Dixie

If someone is not whistling Dixie, they are being honest or realistic and should not be ignored. `Is that a threat?' — `I'm not just whistling Dixie.' He was not whistling Dixie last month when he told financial analysts that the firm is as competitive as ever. Note: Dixie was the name given to the region of the southern and eastern United States which formed the Confederate side in the Civil War. The area gave its name to several songs which were popular as Confederate war songs.
See also: Dixie, not, whistle

whistle Dixie

engage in unrealistic fantasies; waste your time. US
Dixie is an informal name for the Southern states of the USA. The marching song ‘Dixie’ ( 1859 ) was popular with Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War.
2001 New York Times These guys are just whistling Dixie…They're ignoring the basic issues that everyone's been pointing out to them for a decade.
See also: Dixie, whistle

not just whistling Dixie

tv. not talking nonsense. (Folksy. Refers to a song titled Dixie.) Man, you are right! You’re not just whistling Dixie.
See also: Dixie, just, not, whistle

whistle Dixie

To engage in unrealistically rosy fantasizing: "If you think mass transportation is going to replace the automobile I think you're whistling Dixie" (Henry Ford II).
See also: Dixie, whistle
References in periodicals archive ?
He is someone who the club are very proud of and I'm sure his family are very proud that the club still associates its success with Dixie Dean.
Under the newly-approved reorganization plan, Dixie must pay off all of a $600,000 federal government claim for payroll taxes, while at the same time repaying the State Department of Revenue and Taxation $875,000 of a $1.
The key goals of the New Dixie Highway will focus on converting the 14 mile corridor into a safer, more mobile and economically enhanced roadway in Southwest Louisville.
But when Dixie asked last month for another extension--until at least mid-August--one of its largest creditors--the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation--objected.
Dixie said he had earlier been out with friends Vicky Chandler and Diane Glasborow to celebrate his 35th birthday.
Every Monday night for three years, these young adults with Down syndrome practiced long and hard - going over each color that corresponded with a musical note on a long piece of cloth sheet music Dixie would hold in front of them.
But Dixie and her charges learned a different lesson when they went to the Citibank branch on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood last week and said they wanted to make a deposit in their account.
Some stations around the country temporarily stopped playing ``Travelin' Soldier'' and the Texas trio's remake of the Fleetwood Mac classic ``Landslide'' after Dixie Chick Natalie Maines told a London audience March 10 that the trio was ``ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.
Dixie Henrikson's little girl, Deborah, was growing up, and her circle of friends was dwindling - moving on physically and mentally to more challenging, exciting things than playing with their Down syndrome friend.
As expected, Skimming went to the front early, and the usually aggressive Dixie Dot Com was kept back by jockey David Flores.
Last week, Dixie Dot Com co-owner Bart Heller, battling cancer, went into a Stanford hospital for surgery described as routine.
Blame the presidential campaign for the long delay in getting Dan Rather's interview with the Dixie Chicks on ``60 Minutes II.
ARCADIA - Even before Pat Valenzuela rode Dixie Dot Com for the first time in the San Pasqual Handicap, the rider and the horse had something in common.
Other multiple nominees included Jo Dee Messina, Dixie Chicks, the Wilkinsons, George Strait, Martina McBride, Sawyer Brown, Vince Gill and Mark Wills.