Definition of Limey noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈlaɪmi//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈlaɪmi//
(old-fashioned, North American English)
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a slightly insulting word for a British person Word Originlate 19th cent.: from lime (the fruit) + -y, because of the former enforced consumption of lime juice in the British navy. Culture The word 'Limey' was used especially by US military forces during the Second World War, often as an insult, to mean a British sailor or soldier. It refers to the old practice in the British navy of drinking the juice of limes (= green fruit like lemons) to avoid getting the disease of scurvy which is caused by the lack of vitamin C.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Limey