Americans use to describe an English or British person. Comes from when British sailors used to eat limes to avoid scurvy. Although some entries have described the phrase
as derogatory, it's really not that offensive at all, certainly nothing like the N-word
, for example. It depends on the context, if the American uses
it affectionately, the Briton should
have no reason to be offended. If the American uses
hurling abuse and expletives at the Briton, than
their whole tone is what's offensive rather than
the use of the word
American: Hey there limey, how's it going in England?
Englishman: Fine thanks, are you alright?
Cab Driver: What, no tip? You cheap
Englishman: Well in Britain we don't tip EVERYONE, you Yank twat!