Hell on Wheels Anachronism Watch

 Posted by on February 15, 2012 at 8:18 am  Hell on Wheels
Feb 152012

Hell on Wheels Lily Bell Cullen Bohannon share a drink
In Episode 109, Timshel, Cullen Bohannon tells Lily Bell that when he met her, he thought she was a “spoiled limey brat.” That stuck out for me so I looked it up:

1888, Australian, New Zealand, and South African slang for “English immigrant;” U.S. use is attested from 1918, originally “British sailor, British warship,” short for lime-juicer (1857), in derisive reference to the British Navy’s policy (begun 1795) of issuing lime juice on ships to prevent scurvy among sailors. In Amer.Eng., extended to “any Englishman” by 1925.


This is a much worse mistake than “give a shit,” because it’s the writers finding a slang word to use, and such a word naturally stands out to viewers.


  One Response to “Hell on Wheels Anachronism Watch”

  1. It’s a problem of timing–if you use the then-current term, viewers will be left wondering what you mean. In “Unforgiven”, one the train passengers complains that he hears a “John Bull” talking about the Queen. I wonder how many people knew at once what he meant.

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