James Main Dixon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

James Main Dixon FRSE (1856, Paisley – 27 September 1933) was a Scottish teacher and author, and an important scholar of the Scots language.[1] He graduated at St. Andrews University in 1879 and was appointed scholar and tutor of philosophy there in the same year.

Dixon was the brother-in-law of the mathematician and seismologist Cargill Gilston Knott.[2]

Academic career[edit]

He was professor of English and secretary of the Imperial College of Engineering, Tokio, Japan, from 1879 to 1886, when he was called to the Imperial University of Japan in the same capacity. There he taught Hidesaburo Saito, one of the first Japanese writers of English Grammar, and Natsume Sōseki, a famous novelist and ex-university professor, who disliked his style of teaching English literature.

From 1892 to 1901 he was professor of English literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. In 1903–1904 he was president of Columbia College, in Milton, Oregon. He was professor of English literature at the University of Southern California from 1905 to 1911, when he was transferred to the chair of Oriental studies and comparative literature. In 1906 he became editor of the West Coast Magazine.


He compiled a Dictionary of Idiomatic English Phrases (1891) and wrote: Twentieth Century Life of John Wesley (1902); "Matthew Arnold," in Modern Poets and Christian Teaching (1906); and A Survey of Scottish Literature in the Nineteenth Century (1907). In 1920, he wrote, The Spiritual Meaning of Tennyson's "In Memoriam" and Manual of Modern Scots.

In 1908, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Dickinson College.


  1. ^ Jones, Charles (1997). The Edinburgh history of the Scots language. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-0754-9. 
  2. ^ "Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh". Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 

External links[edit]