What's the true meaning of Dixie? A Knoxville historian weighs i - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What's the true meaning of Dixie? A Knoxville historian weighs in

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Photo courtesy of Dollywood.com Photo courtesy of Dollywood.com
WBIR -

Dolly Parton is nixing the word "Dixie" from the name of her popular dinner theater show Dixie Stampede, and it has a lot of people talking.

More than 1,100 people have commented and shared our Facebook post about the story, and the reactions are passionate.

READ MORE | Dolly Parton's dinner attraction drops "Dixie" from name

They range from many saying they are going to boycott any and all Dolly Parton attractions.

But on the other hand, some say it was simply a business decision.

"Where the word Dixie came from is kind of a mystery," Knoxville historian Jack Neely said.

Much like many parts of history, Dixie has a murky past.

"We tend to look at history to tell us what makes us different from other people in the world," Neely said.

That's why our Facebook post about Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dropping Dixie from its name brought out so many opinions.

But we wanted to ask—what's the history behind this word that has charged so many people up?

"That's one theory—that the Mason-Dixon line is what makes the north different from the south, and that dixie comes from Dixon," Neely said.

Neely also shared a second theory.

"There was some paper money, a $10 bill printed in New Orleans, because it was in New Orleans, they used the French word 'dix,' which is pronounced 'deese' in French," he said.

Americans mispronounced the word, which eventually turned into Dixieland, referring to New Orleans.

Read more from WBIR's website.

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