basket case


basket case
basket case (n.) 1919, American English, originally a reference to quadriplegics as a result of catastrophic wounds suffered in World War I (the military vehemently denied there were any such in its hospitals), from BASKET (Cf. basket) + CASE (Cf. case) (n.2). Probably literal, i.e., stuck in a basket, but basket had colloquial connotations of poverty (begging) and helplessness long before this. Figurative sense of "person emotionally unable to cope" is from 1967.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Basket Case — can mean:* Basket Case (film) , a 1982 horror comedy directed and written by Frank Henenlotter ** Basket Case 2 , the 1990 sequel to Basket Case ** , the 1992 final film in the Basket Case series * Basket Case (song) , a song by Green Day from… …   Wikipedia

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  • basket case — ˈbasket ˌcase noun [countable usually singular] JOURNALISM ECONOMICS a company, country, or economy that is doing so badly and has so many problems that it is likely to fail completely: • By any standard, the area is an economic basket case. * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • basket case — basket cases 1) N COUNT If someone describes a country or organization as a basket case, they mean that its economy or finances are in a seriously bad state. [INFORMAL] Ten years ago Latin America was written off as a basket case. 2) N COUNT… …   English dictionary

  • basket case — If something is a basket case, it is so bad that it cannot be helped …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • basket case — n 1.) informal someone who you think is crazy = ↑nut case 2.) a country with many severe economic and social problems that are likely to continue for a long time …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • basket case — basket ,case noun count INFORMAL 1. ) an insulting word for someone who is unable to do anything because they are too nervous or upset: NERVOUS WRECK 2. ) a country or organization that has serious financial problems …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • basket case — ► NOUN informal ▪ a useless person or thing. ORIGIN originally US slang, denoting a soldier who had lost all four limbs …   English terms dictionary


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