The Dixie Chicks Changed Their Name Because Of Its Problematic Origins

Korin Miller

From Women's Health

  • The Dixie Chicks recently changed their band name to The Chicks.

  • "We want to meet this moment," the band said in a short statement on their website.

  • The word "Dixie" has problematic origins related to slavery and plantation life.

The Dixie Chicks have been churning out pop-country music for decades. And now, they’ll do it under a new name.

The band, which is made up of Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer, and Martie Maguire, low-key changed its name to The Chicks. There was no big announcement—the band’s website and social media account now just simply refer to the group as The Chicks.

"We want to meet this moment," The Chicks said in a short statement on their website. The band also dropped their second new single in 14 years (following "Gaslighter" in March). It's called "March, March," and it features footage from a range of protests for Black Lives Matter, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, the anti-gun movement, and the environment.

The band didn’t explain what was behind the change, but plenty of people applauded the move online:

Why did The Chicks drop "Dixie" from their name?

The word "Dixie" is affectionate slang used to describe the Civil War-era South—a time when slavery was an acceptable and common practice.

According to History.com, there are three different theories on where the name Dixie came from. One is that it refers to the Mason-Dixon line—the famous boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that served as an informal line between Southern slave states and free states to the North. Any area below the line was known as "Dixie" or "Dixieland."

Another theory is that the term originated in Louisiana after the Citizens' Bank of New Orleans issued $10 bills notes with "dix" (the French word for "ten") written on one side. Those bills were known as Dixies, and later became a geographical nickname.

The final theory is that the name comes from a Manhattan plantation owner named "Dix" who had a reputation for being kind to the people he enslaved. When the enslaved people were sent to the South, they reportedly spoke about living in "Dixie’s Land" and that became a phrase for a peaceful plantation. However, History.com notes that one is generally considered a myth.

Whatever the origin, "Dixie" is a word that’s often linked with slavery and plantation life. And The Chicks don't want to be associated with that anymore.

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