[ lahy-mee ]
/ ˈlaɪ mi /
Slang: Usually Disparaging and Offensive.

noun, plural lim·eys.

a British sailor.
a British ship.
a British person.



Origin of limey

First recorded in 1885–90; see origin at lime-juicer, -y2

usage note for limey

This term (and the earlier lime-juicer ) was probably first applied by Americans to British sailors, used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting. Historically, it also referred to a British immigrant in Australia. Later it became a more neutral nickname for any British person. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for limey

/ (ˈlaɪmɪ) US and Canadian slang /


a British person
a British sailor or ship



Word Origin for limey

abbreviated from C19 lime-juicer, because British sailors were required to drink lime juice as a protection against scurvy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012