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basket house

A bar, café, or other public venue where musicians perform and are paid only by the collection of money from the audience in a basket or similar receptacle. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Many of the most famous musicians began their careers eking out a living in basket houses around Greenwich Village in New York City.
See also: basket, house

all (one's) eggs in one basket

All of one's hopes/efforts/resources are committed to one area, which is considered a risky strategy. Stella put all her eggs in one basket by just applying to Harvard, but it's the only school she wants to go to. If I were you, I'd have a backup plan, rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.
See also: all, basket, egg, one

don't put all your eggs in one basket

Don't focus all of your attention on one thing or in one area, in case that situation changes or goes awry. I know you love Harvard, but don't put all your eggs in one basket—make sure to apply to several other schools too. Don't put all your eggs in one basket with your investments. Make sure you diversify your portfolio.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

basket case

1. Someone who is viewed as emotionally unstable and unable to function in normal situations. Sarah was so nervous on her first day of high school that she burst into tears after walking into the wrong classroom. Her classmates looked at her like she was a complete basket case.
2. A country, business, or other entity that is facing economic strife. If the unemployment rate doesn't decrease soon, the country is going to become a financial basket case.
See also: basket, case

give a basket

To reject a fiancé; to refuse to get married. The phrase comes from an old German custom of leaving a basket on a former lover's roof. I thought for sure that Denise and I were going to get married—I never expected her to give a basket to me in the end. I love Peter, but ultimately I had to give a basket to him because we just want different things in life.
See also: basket, give

basket case

Fig. a person who is a nervous wreck. (Formerly referred to a person who is physically disabled in all four limbs because of paralysis or amputation.) After that all-day meeting, I was practically a basket case. My weeks of worry were so intense that I was a real basket case afterwards.
See also: basket, case

can't carry a tune

 and cannot carry a tune; can't carry a tune in a bushel basket; can't carry a tune in a bucket; can't carry a tune in a paper sack
Fig. [to be] unable to sing a simple melody; lacking musical ability. I wish that Tom wouldn't try to sing. He can't carry a tune. I don't know why Mary's in the choir. She can't carry a tune in a bushel basket. Joe likes to sing in the shower, though he can't carry a tune in a bucket. I'd try to hum the song for you, but I can't carry a tune in a paper sack.
See also: carry, tune

put all one's eggs in one basket

Fig. to make everything dependent on only one thing; to place all one's resources in one place, account, etc. (If the basket is dropped, all is lost.) Don't invest all your money in one company. Never put all your eggs in one basket. I advise you to diversify and not to put all your eggs in one basket.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

put all your eggs in one basket

to risk your money or your reputation in support of one idea or plan I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket, so I played five different lottery games, but lost all of them.
Etymology: based on the idea that if all the eggs you got from your chickens are in one basket ( container) and you drop it, you will lose all your eggs
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

a basket case

1. (informal) someone who is crazy and unable to organize their life She'll never get a job. She's a basket case.
2. a very poor country which needs economic help from other countries, or a business that is in a very bad financial situation Twenty years ago the country was an economic basket case.
See also: basket, case

put all your eggs in one basket

to risk losing everything by putting all your efforts or all your money into one plan or one course of action If you're going to invest the money, my advice would be don't put all your eggs in one basket.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

basket case

A person or thing too impaired to function. For example, The stress of moving twice in one year left her a basket case, or The republics of the former Soviet Union are economic basket cases. Originating in World War I for a soldier who had lost all four limbs in combat and consequently had to be carried in a litter ("basket"), this term was then transferred to an emotionally or mentally unstable person and later to anything that failed to function. [Slang; second half of 1900s]
See also: basket, case

put all one's eggs in one basket

Risk all of one's resources in a single venture, as in He had warned Peter about investing heavily in a single stock; it was putting all his eggs in one basket . This proverb, first recorded in 1710, has largely replaced the much older trust all one's goods to one ship. Mark Twain played on it in Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894): "The fool saith, 'Put not all thy eggs in one basket' ... but the wise man saith, 'Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket!'"
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put


n. the stomach. (see also breadbasket.) You’ve got a lot of guts in the basket. It’s huge.

basket case

n. a person who is a nervous wreck. (Formerly referred to a person who is totally physically disabled.) After that meeting, I was practically a basket case.
See also: basket, case


and dinner basket
n. the belly; the stomach. I hit him, pow, right in the breadbasket. I have a little pain in the dinner basket.

dinner basket

See also: basket, dinner

underwater basket weaving

n. an imaginary, very easy high school or college course. If I can just find a course in underwater basket weaving, I’ll have an easy semester.
See also: basket, weave
References in classic literature ?
To divert my mind, I took up the newspaper which had covered the little basket of refreshments, and which now lay at the bottom of the coach, blushing with a deep-red stain and emitting a potent spirituous fume from the contents of the broken bottle of Kalydor.
Here he met three pretty lasses, each bearing a basket of eggs to market.
asked Sara Ray seriously, wreathing the handle of her basket with creeping spruce.
Only Beaudelet remained behind, tinkering at his boat, and Mariequita walked away with her basket of shrimps, casting a look of childish ill humor and reproach at Robert from the corner of her eye.
My poor little girl would be sadly disappointed, I know, if the basket was not finished tomorrow, for though I told her it certainly would not, I am sure she depends upon having it done.
At a word from Zobeida, Sadie and Amina took the basket from the porter, who was glad enough to be relieved from its weight; and when it was emptied, paid him handsomely for its use.
I cannot draw you a picture of Peter and Benjamin underneath the basket, because it was quite dark, and because the smell of onions was fearful; it made Peter Rabbit and little Benjamin cry.
Gervais, followed by Grimaud, who carried the basket, ignorant of where he was going but in the passive obedience which Athos had taught him not even thinking of asking.
The basket was the one which on workdays held Adam's and Seth's dinner; and no official, walking in procession, could look more resolutely unconscious of all acquaintances than Gyp with his basket, trotting at his master's heels.
for verily the Philistines have either still hold upon the basket, or the Lord hath softened their hearts to place therein a beast of good weight
And the Scarecrow found a tree full of nuts and filled Dorothy's basket with them, so that she would not be hungry for a long time.
And the servants gave her some of the rich meats, which she put into her basket to take home.
When he was gone Durbeyfield walked a few steps in a profound reverie, and then sat down upon the grassy bank by the roadside, depositing his basket before him.
Also, by an afterthought, I stuffed Foulata's basket, which, except for one water-gourd and a little biltong, was empty now, with great quantities of the stones.
He carried a basket under one arm and a mattress under the other.