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whistle stop

a small, unimportant town, especially one along a railroad line.
a short talk from the rear platform of a train, especially during a political campaign.
a brief appearance, single performance, or the like, in a small town, as during a political campaign or theatrical tour.
Origin of whistle stop
1920-25, Americanism


[hwis-uh l-stop, wis-] /ˈʰwɪs əlˌstɒp, ˈwɪs-/
verb (used without object), whistle-stopped, whistle-stopping.
to campaign for political office by traveling around the country, originally by train, stopping at small communities to address voters.
to take a trip consisting of several brief, usually overnight, stops.
occurring at a whistle stop; consisting of whistle stops:
a whistle-stop speech; a whistle-stop tour of the Northwest.
1950-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for whistle stop
Historical Examples
  • Lansdale was too small even to be called a "whistle stop," because no trains came near it.

    The Blue Ghost Mystery Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Nobody had to explain to him that the two Gestapo agents had boarded the train at that whistle stop.

  • Why should he hang around this whistle stop for a wasted week-end, holding kitchen conversations with the unmighty living?

    The Mighty Dead William Campbell Gault
British Dictionary definitions for whistle stop

whistle stop

(US & Canadian)
  1. a minor railway station where trains stop only on signal
  2. a small town having such a station
  1. a brief appearance in a town, esp by a political candidate to make a speech, shake hands, etc
  2. (as modifier): a whistle-stop tour
verb -stops, -stopping, -stopped
(intransitive) to campaign for office by visiting many small towns to give short speeches
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for whistle stop

whistle Dixie

verb phrase

  1. To say something of no consequence in order to make a positive impression
  2. To engage in wishful thinking

[1940s+; fr the effect of Dan Emmett's 1859 minstrel song ''Dixie,'' which became the favorite of the Confederates]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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