What’s the origin of the term ‘Jim Dandy’?

We know what a Jim Dandy is and who Jim Dandy is. But where did the term come from?

Etymology Online suggests that is could be derived from the 1840s song “Dandy Jim of Caroline,” written by Silas Sexton Steel. I’m not sure what ol’ Silas’ was known for back in the day, but google reports 5 hits for the gentleman, four of which credit his writing of “Dandy Jim of Caroline” and the other providing the lyrics to another minstrel song, “Kiss Me Quick and Go.” Of course, JD was also featured musically in LaVern Baker & The Gliders’ 1956 classic “Jim Dandy.” The Virginian Quarterly Review and this message board thread offer more commentary on the term.

How’s that for some learning?

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