SAILORS - LIMEYS

Throughout a good portion of world history, Britain has been considered a maritime country. They have a long history of building the best boats, and the most of them.

The superiority of the British navy, however, did not mean that people did not poke fun at them. The bloody landlubbers called British sailors limeys, this being not merely another of the worlds cheap shots at the sourness of the English, but rather a reference to their medication and vitamin supplement of choice.

During the 17th century, a major problem among sailors was the disease known as scurvy. scurvy was caused by a citric acid and vitamin c deficiency, so the solution was simple, more citrus on board. But some how oranges were overlooked (possibly because the weren’t available without a long seafaring voyage that was plagued by scurvy), and the entirety of the queen’s navy ended up going out to sea equipped with a lifetime supply of limes, and an understandably sour disposition.

They did not get scurvy.

Sail"or (?), n.

One who follows the business of navigating ships or other vessels; one who understands the practical management of ships; one of the crew of a vessel; a mariner; a common seaman.

Syn. -- Mariner; seaman; seafarer.

Sailor's choice. Zool. (a) An excellent marine food fish (Diplodus, ∨ Lagodon, rhomboides) of the Southern United States; -- called also porgy, [squirrel fish, yellowtail, and salt-water bream. (b) A species of grunt (Orthopristis, ∨ Pomadasys, chrysopterus), an excellent food fish, common on the southern coasts of the United States; -- called also hogfish, and pigfish.

 

© Webster 1913.

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