Definitions

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

  • n. Slang A British sailor.
  • n. Slang An English person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Etymologies

Short for lime juicer (from the use of lime juice on British warships in order to prevent scurvy).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From 18th and 19th century British sailors drinking lime juice to ward off scurvy (Wiktionary)

Examples

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • I am not sure that "limey" is really to Anglo-Saxon what "kike" is to Jewish, or suchlike.

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

  • Is that some kind of limey ... rics: Who ever has paid attention to the fucking Guardian?

    LUKE IS BACK

  • All of that spicy, brothy, limey goodness is just what the doctor ordered for a stuffed head and scratchy sore throat.

    Posole With Eye Of The Goat Beans & Shredded Chicken

  • In the bar's back room this morning, Graeme is busy trouncing Patrick at a last game of pool, although Patrick insists that once they get to Alice, where he'll be able to play without bumping his cue into the wall,he'll kick Graeme's limey ass.

    Kangaroo Dreaming

  • Then you have the limey jolt of the caryopteris 'leaves.

    K-State Gardens « Sugar Creek Gardens’ Blog

Comments

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

    October 4, 2008

  • Do the English themselves use this term?

    October 4, 2008