not be whistling Dixie
be not whistling Dixie
slang To have a realistic or honest view of something, as opposed to an overly optimistic one. "Dixie" was a song popular among Confederate soldiers during the US Civil War and became associated with continuing to hope for the success of a lost cause. Primarily heard in US. It sounds like they really are going to give everyone a raise. You weren't just whistling Dixie, Bob!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
not be whistling DixieAMERICAN
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012