lemon

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do me a lemon!

You must be joking; I can't believe this; that's nonsense. A slang phrase specific to London. Primarily heard in UK. Do me a lemon, man! No way I'm paying for tap water. You're going to fine me for spitting on the footpath? Do me a lemon!

lemon law

A law requiring an automobile manufacturer or dealer to replace, repair, or refund the cost of an automobile that proves to be defective after purchase. The automotive company will be shelling out millions of dollars in refunds for faulty ignition switches because congress passed much tighter lemon laws this summer.
See also: law, lemon

(go) suck a lemon

An expression of anger, scorn, or disdain. Primarily heard in US, Canada. Charles: "You never do any chores around the house, you just leave them for the rest of us!" Sam: "Oh, go suck a lemon, Charles! I don't have to listen to your crap." I can't believe you told your teacher to suck a lemon after she yelled at you.
See also: lemon, suck

when life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Focus on the good in a bad situation and take action accordingly. While I was devastated to lose my job, being unemployed gave me the time to finally go back to school. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?
See also: give, life, make

hand (one) a lemon

To give or sell something to one without revealing that the item is not a good as it seems. Considering how often that car breaks down, I think the dealership handed you a lemon.
See also: hand, lemon

lemon

Something that is worthless or much less valuable than one was led to believe. It sounded like a good deal at the time, but this car he sold me is a total lemon!

the answer's a lemon

old-fashioned A derisive or dismissive answer to a question that is impertinent, foolish, or ridiculous. Primarily heard in UK. A: "The government is in service of us, so why should we have to pay taxes to them?" B: "The answer's a lemon—maybe the next time you have a thought, keep it to yourself."
See also: lemon

the answer's a lemon

the response or outcome is unsatisfactory. informal
A lemon here is used to represent a bad, unsatisfactory, or disappointing thing, possibly because the lemon is the least valuable symbol that can be achieved by playing a fruit machine.
See also: lemon

hand someone a lemon

pass off a substandard article as good; swindle someone.
See also: hand, lemon, someone
References in classic literature ?
On that first day, as soon as the collops were ready, Cluny gave them with his own hand a squeeze of a lemon (for he was well supplied with luxuries) and bade us draw in to our meal.
Finally, after several tests, a friend of mine who works as a computer consultant confirmed what I had dreaded: My new modern was a lemon.
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