Why Is A Man Of English Descent Called A Limey?


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The slang term Limey is an old nickname given by the Americans and Canadians to the British. Traditionally it was used in reference to British sailors. The word Limey is thought to have been coined from lime-juicer. It referred to the practice of to the Royal Navy as well as the Merchant Navy of keeping up a supply of lime juice to their British sailors in order to avert scurvy back in the 19th century.

This was a derogatory term. It is believed to have its origins in the Caribbean sometime in the 1880s.

This slang term Limey gradually evolved into "to lime", a verb which was used to mean 'to hang out'. A Limey is now used to refer to Englishmen in general or to one who is of English descent.

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