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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 ?
Then he came back to the basket and took out his son Benjamin by the ears, and whipped him with the little switch.
Again I thought of abandoning that basket, but did not.
He raises his hat solemnly; then throws a handful of money into the basket and follows Pickering].
Here is the basket, and mind you fill it quite full.
Now, look you," said Little John, "I cannot see such dainty damsels as ye are carrying baskets along a highroad.
After some search the woman drew from her basket an old pepper-box, upon the faded label of which the wizard had written with a lead-pencil:
Gentle Cecilia, sitting on the floor surrounded by good things, left it to the ingenuity of others to decide whether the baskets should be all emptied at once, or handed round
For example, by all their common and familiar performances--throwing large objects into the air which never come down; causing plants to sprout, grow visibly and blossom, in bare ground chosen by spectators; putting a man into a wicker basket, piercing him through and through with a sword while he shrieks and bleeds, and then--the basket being opened nothing is there; tossing the free end of a silken ladder into the air, mounting it and disappearing.
The youngest of the two had got into a waste-paper basket.
Not for Dan the bother of filling his basket with the loose sprays, mingled with feathery elephant's-ears and trails of creeping spruce, as the rest of us, following the Story Girl's example, did.
If I might be so bold to give my advice, I would have it put in a basket, and sent out and laid at the churchwarden's door.
The feeling of happiness in being near her continually grew, and at last reached such a point that, as he put a huge, slender-stalked agaric fungus in her basket, he looked straight into her face, and noticing the flush of glad and alarmed excitement that overspread her face, he was confused himself, and smiled to her in silence a smile that said too much.
But the best of us have our weaknesses--and my weakness, when I know a family plate-basket to be out on a pantry-table, is to be instantly reminded of that basket by the sight of a strolling stranger whose manners are superior to my own.
The baby in the cradle woke up and cried; the boy in the clothes-basket fell over on his back with the basket upon him, and was seen no more; the mother wept louder yet and rocked faster; but Kit, insensible to all the din and tumult, remained in a state of utter stupefaction.
The Custom-House marker imprinted it, with a stencil and black paint, on pepper-bags, and baskets of anatto, and cigar-boxes, and bales of all kinds of dutiable merchandise, in testimony that these commodities had paid the impost, and gone regularly through the office.