Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A British sailor.
  • noun An English person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Resembling limes (the fruit), lime-like.
  • adjective Of, or pertaining to, limes (the fruit).
  • noun US, slang An Englishman or other Briton, or a person of British descent.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Short for lime juicer (from the use of lime juice on British warships in order to prevent scurvy).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From 18th and 19th century British sailors drinking lime juice to ward off scurvy

Examples

  • It seems to me that "limey" is more affectionate than pejorative.

    Is "Magic Negro" CD Helping Saltsman In RNC Race?

  • This use is probably responsible for the slang term "limey" which developed and was/is used to describe those having an English background.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • Why: The leaves as well as the lime rind impart a sharp, unmistakable lime scent and taste that is more "limey" than regular limes.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • This use is probably responsible for the slang term "limey" which developed and was/is used to describe those having an English background.

    Weekend Herb Blogging #76

  • Why: The leaves as well as the lime rind impart a sharp, unmistakable lime scent and taste that is more "limey" than regular limes.

    K is for...

  • As a result of this discovery, British sailors planted lime trees at their ports of call and ate the fruit regularly; it's how the term "limey" got applied to them, and later by association to British people in general

    Global Nerdy

  • Frankie Gambino was quick to point out that we saved the 'limey's homeland in WWII.'

    Doghouse Boxing News

  • Frankie Gambino was quick to point out that we saved the 'limey's homeland in WWII.'

    Doghouse Boxing News

  • Frankie Gambino was quick to point out that we saved the 'limey's homeland in WWII.'

    Doghouse Boxing News

  • Frankie Gambino was quick to point out that we saved the 'limey's homeland in WWII.'

    Doghouse Boxing News

Comments

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  • Do the English themselves use this term?

    October 4, 2008

  • Only jokingly in the context or presence of America / Americans.

    October 4, 2008