'Birthplace of Dixie' Plaque – New Orleans, Louisiana - Atlas Obscura
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New Orleans, Louisiana

'Birthplace of Dixie' Plaque

The South's nickname was supposedly born at a former bank in New Orleans' French Quarter. 

A small, inconspicuous plaque outside of what is now a Walgreens claims that the phrase “Dixie” originated on this spot, back when Citizens State Bank stood at this location.

According to this theory, the bank issued its own $10 notes, which had the word Dix (French for ten) printed on one side. Southerners took to calling these paper notes “Dixies” and the French-speaking parts of Louisiana “Dixieland.”

But though this plaque sure seems official, its claim isn’t the only theory circulated about the origin of the South’s nickname. Some believe the term was inspired by Jeremiah Dixon, one of the two men who surveyed the Mason-Dixon line.

Regardless of its roots, the word “Dixie” was solidified in American vernacular as a synonym for the South. This is largely because it became a title of a song from the 1850s (indisputably the most enduring of the songs to come out of blackface minstrelsy), which was adopted as the unofficial national anthem of the Confederacy.