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Today’s Amazing Fact: Not Just Whistling Dixie

August 23, 2012

Ever wonder how the south became known as Dixie? It all has to do with money. As odd as it sounds, in the early days of this country, there was no central bank and banks could print their own money. As Bill Bryson puts it in Made in America:

Some banks money was more respected than others. The Citizens Bank of New Orleans issued a particularly sought after $10 blll. Because the French word for ten, dix, was inscribed on the back, they became known as dixies. As a descriptive term for the whole south, the word didn’t really catch on until 1859, when David Decature Emmett, a Northerner, wrote the Immensely successful song, “Dixie’s Land,” (which almost everyone thinks, wrongly, is called “Dixie”).

And there you have it.

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