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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


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 periodicals archive ?
Sometimes smaller and rounder than true lemons, Meyer lemons have a smooth skin and range in color from deep yellow to light orange, with a dark yellow or orange pulp.
5 EXPLORER Christopher Columbus introduced lemons to America and first took lemon seeds there in 1493.
It's easy to use lemon to flavor your favorite dishes; just try these tips:
6 The number of months--from November through April--you can find Meyer lemons in markets.
As soon as I bring them home, I soak the lemons in a solution of white vinegar and water to minimize molding or rotting.
Fill a heat-resistant bowl with water and half a lemon and zap for five minutes.
Roll the lemons to warm them and get the juices flowing.
In these markets, lemons are actually serving as a barometer of improved economic conditions and upward mobility.
With demand low and costs of growing high, very few farmers cultivate sweet lemons for commercial purposes.
A farmer from Suzak rayon, Jalal-Abad region, Jamaldin Urmatov, has cultivated a new variety of lemons and called it the Kyrgyz lemon.
Lemons were introduced to Spain and Africa by the Arabs in the twelfth century.
While enjoying a big spoonful of lemon curd my niece made using lemons from a Meyer lemon tree in her Baton Rouge back yard, I embarked on a little research--in hopes that somehow a Mississippi backyard could be home to such a tree.
6 lemons, quartered lengthwise with one end left intact
You'll need to stock up on your (unwaxed) lemons, then simply take your pick of these great lemon dishes - or why not have a lemon dish dinner party contest X Factor style?
Repeat steps 1 through 4 with the other three lemons.