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    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 213
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    #1

    Re: Limey

    Limey is an old
    American and Canadian slang nickname for the British, originally referring to British sailors. The term is believed to derive from lime-juicer, referring to the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy practice of supplying lime juice to British sailors to prevent scurvy in the 19th century. The term is derogatory in the sense that the British would be allegedly more preoccupied with the savings of limes over lemons which were traditionally used to prevent scurvy. The term is thought to have originated in the Caribbean in the 1880s. A false etymology is that it is a derivative of "Corr-blimey" ("God blind me!").
    Hi, Could you please tell me what the meaning of following sentence in bold is?

    allegedly more preoccupied with the savings of limes over lemons

    limes is cheaper than lemons? So brits liked limes?

    Will a Brit feel offended if a foreigner calls him/her Limey because I learned it is a derogatory word as above text states?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
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    #2

    Re: Limey

    It is a rude comment about being economical. Both limes and lemons were used to counteract scurvy, which is a condition resulting from the lack of vitamin C. Limes are smaller and therefore more can be carried in a ship.

    I would avoid calling someone a limey - it is not polite.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 213
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    #3

    Re: Limey

    Anglika, thank you for your answer.

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