Posted by Ward on November 07, 2004
In Reply to: If the answer is a lemon, what is the question? posted by Junius on November 07, 2004
: I came across this sentence while reading something about James Lind the scottish doctor who discovered (in 1747) the effect of lemons and lime on treating and curing scurvy in the Royal Navy (which apparently killed many more men than wars). now, it's a mistery to me how this phrase and word came to mean something unsatisfactory or worthless (person or object) and is specially applied to faulty cars which eventually led to lemon car laws in America.
: I take it informally 'lemon' means a 'dud', a 'fake', a 'botch' and it is also a derisive reply according to Partridge
: can anybody explain the connections?
Peter, Paul and Mary had part of the answer...
'lemon tree, very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet,
but the fruit of the poor lemon,
is impossible to eat.'
There is another expression..if life hands you lemons, make lemonade..........
both thoughts refer to the fact that lemons are not the sweetest things to deal with on the planet.