What is a Yankee?

Kirk   Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:11 pm GMT
<<Many Americans refer to Brits as Limeys (probably irrespective of whereabouts in the UK from where they come. That may be considered derogatory as well? Not sure really.>>

I don't think I've ever heard an American (me included) refer to Brits as "Limeys." I first learned that word when I heard an Australian use it and I didn't know who he was talking about.
Lazar   Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:36 pm GMT
I learned about the word "Limey" from my mother, who lived in England for several months as a child, but I've never used it in conversation.
Tobias   Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:15 pm GMT
Yankee is not used here in Brazil. We call a ''estadunidense'' a gringo :)
Geoff_One   Sun Sep 11, 2005 3:55 am GMT
Sorry no offence intended here; only for information - One term that is used in Australia by some to refer to a person from England is Pom (Prisoner of Mother England). Plural - Pommies.
Geoff_One   Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:00 am GMT
Again, sorry no offence intended here - One term that is used in Australia by some to refer to a large American car is yank tank.
Riko   Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:06 am GMT
A Yankee is a citizen of the United States.
Geoff_One   Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:19 am GMT
Uriel, Sorry to split hairs, but is it Mason-Dixie or Mason-Dixon?
Uriel   Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:46 am GMT
The line is called the Mason-Dixon line, after the two surveyors involved, Mason and Dixon. "Dixie", meaning the South, has a whole different etymology, and when everyone stops fighting about exactly what that is, some expert will come froward and tell us....

The two names are close enough to cause confusion, aren't they?

And don't be coy, we know what you REALLY call us down there... ;)
Damian in EH12   Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:02 am GMT
GEOFF_ONE: Those Pommies Down-Under......is it true they have the habit of whingeing? Is it true all their forebears were kicked out of Pommieland for scrumping apples or nicking the odd goose for Christmas dinner?
Candy   Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:15 am GMT
I heard of an Englishman deported to Australia for stealing 12 cucumber plants, I think it was, another for stealing some lace for his daughter's hair, and yet another for stealing a book on Trinidad!
Geoff_One   Sun Sep 11, 2005 2:07 pm GMT
I have heard the expression "whinging poms" many times.
Rick Johnson   Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:28 pm GMT
I've seen documentaries about British people moving to Australia and they do indeed seem to whinge persitently. "It's too hot", "I didn't think it rained here" etc etc........and they always seem to be from the South East (of England) which comes as no surprise to Northerners like me.

I've got serious doubts about pom being an acronym for Prisoners of Mother England; for a start it would be POME; I don't think acronyms used as often in the 19th Century as they are today; and the country is Britain or the UK- don't forget many of the convicts were Welsh, Irish or Scottish.
Kirk   Sun Sep 11, 2005 11:06 pm GMT
On "pommy" OED says this: "The most widely held derivation of this term, for which, however, there is no firm evidence, is that which connects it with pomegranate (see quots. 1923, 1963). A discussion of this and of other theories may be found in W. S. Ramson Australian English (1966) 63."

--The quote from 1923:

"D. H. LAWRENCE Kangaroo vii. 162 Pommy is supposed to be short for pomegranate. Pomegranate, pronounced invariably pommygranate, is a near enough rhyme to immigrant, in a naturally rhyming country. Furthermore, immigrants are known in their first months, before their blood ‘thins down’, by their round and ruddy cheeks. So we are told. Ibid. 164 In this way Mr Somers had to take himself to task, for his Pommy stupidity."

--The quote from 1963:

"X. HERBERT Disturbing Element vi. 91 He still wore the heavy clumsy British type of clothing of the day [before 1914]. When we kids saw people on the street dressed like that we would yell at them: ‘Jimmygrants, Pommygranates, Pommies!’"
Geoff_One   Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:22 am GMT
Rick & Kirk, Regarding the origins of pom:
It may be an urban myth that origin of pom stemmed from
such phrases as Prisoners of Mother England and Prisioner
of her Majesty, but many people believe or like to believe
that pom is sort of an acronym for these phrases.
In regard to your information about pommygranates etc,
it is always a pleasure to learn.
Uriel   Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:37 pm GMT
It's probably a lot like Yankee in that respect -- lots of theories and plausible explanations.