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Sunday, December 11, 2011

He's a lemon! (Fruit idioms 1)




GET READY:

How many English idioms can you think of using fruit?

READ THIS:

Laverne: I think I'm going to break up with Lenny.
Shirley: Really? I thought you were the apple of his eye!
Laverne: Yeah, he's says he's still bananas about me. But I can't say the same. I thought he was a peach, but it turns out I got a lemon.
Shirley: Well, you know what they say: "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!"

NOTES:

Here are explanations of the expressions.

a. the apple of one's eye: a favorite thing or person that you love. Its literal meaning used to refer to the pupil of the eye. People thought the pupil was a solid round object, like an apple. Of course, the pupil is very important: Without it, you can't see!
b. to be bananas about someone or something: to be crazy about someone or something. Also used as "to go bananas" (to go crazy). No one is sure where it came from, but it may be because of the way apes behave when they are given bananas.
c. a peach: something really good; everyone loves a good peach, right? Honestly, this word is very outdated, but can still be used for a humorous effect.
d. to get a lemon: a lemon is something substandard, especially if it was expected (or promised) to be good. For example, many states in America have "lemon laws": If you buy a car and it needs too many repairs in a short time, the dealer must allow you to return it. Perhaps the word comes from the idea that getting a real lemon leaves a sour taste in one's mouth.
e. "When life hands you a lemon…": This is a kind of modern proverb, meaning one should take bad experiences and turn them into good ones.

PRACTICE:

Use each of the above terms in one of the following sentences. Be sure to use the correct form.

1. I had to return my new TV; after the third repair I realized it was a __________.
2. The father of the bride was so happy to see __________ get married.
3. Stop complaining! __________
4. I can't wait to by that new CD. I'm __________ about the singer!
5. My grandma's so sweet! She always squeezes my cheeks and says, "You're a __________!"

QUESTION FOR WRITING:

Re-write the dialogue above, using other expressions instead of the fruit idioms.

ANSWERS TO THE PRACTICE:

1 d lemon; 2 a the apple of his eye; 3 e "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!"; 4 b bananas; 5 c peach

POSSIBLE ANSWER TO THE "QUESTION FOR WRITING":

Laverne: I think I'm going to break up with Lenny.
Shirley: Really? I thought you were his favorite!
Laverne: Yeah, he's says he's still crazy about me. But I can't say the same. I thought he was a good man, but it turns out I got something disappointing.
Shirley: Well, you know what they say: "When life is difficult, make the best of it."

This lesson is ©2011 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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