handbasket


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to hell in a handbasket

A set phrase used to emphasize that something has gone wrong or awry. Typically used with the verb "go." I just got pulled into a meeting and assigned a huge project, so my day has really gone to hell in a handbasket. What a mess! This party really went to hell in a handbasket quickly!
See also: handbasket, hell

go to hell in a handbasket

To be in an extremely and increasingly bad or ruinous condition; to be on the inevitable path to utter failure or ruin. With the way he's running things, the company is going to hell in a handbasket! After our funding was cut, our project went to hell in a handbasket.
See also: handbasket, hell

go to hell in a bucket

 and go to hell in a handbasket
Fig. to get rapidly worse and worse. The school system in this district is going to hell in a bucket, and no mistake. His health is going to hell in a handbasket ever since he started drinking again.
See also: bucket, hell

go to hell in a handbasket

undergo a rapid process of deterioration. North American informal
This expression has been recorded since the early 20th century; variants of it include go to hell in a handcart and go to hell in a basket .
1990 Nature Conservancy I read widely on environmental issues and often feel that ‘the world is going to hell in a handbasket’.
See also: handbasket, hell

go to hell in a handbasket

Heading for trouble. The expression might possibly have been inspired by the heads of decapitated prisoners falling or being dumped into handbaskets or handcarts. The “handbasket” alliteration following “going to hell” caught on and was applied to anyone whose behavior was likely to lead to an unhappy consequence.
See also: handbasket, hell
References in periodicals archive ?
Where's the world going except to hell in a handbasket (whatever that means)?
More than betel which merely signifies the nation, marijuana, along with a handbasket of other global commodities including alcohol, radios, and pornography, implicates a broader modernity, or at least the modernity of today's PNG, (Lipset and Halvaksz, this collection).
For four centuries, adults have feared that the younger generation is going to hell in a handbasket.
While it might seem that the auto industry is going to hell in a handbasket, as the Gershwins put it, "it ain't necessarily so.
Clad in a fur coat, Celia Cooney made off with the aforesaid money through a series of grocery store robberies that were reported by the likes of Ring Lardner and Walter Lippman, decried as the evidence that American youth were are going to hell in a handbasket, and admired as a working class hero.
I mean, if a hot dog on a Friday could put you in a handbasket to hell, my frequently committed mortal sins were certainly good for a one-way ticket on the Stygian Ferry.
And when everything goes to hell in a handbasket, why shouldn't I shrug my shoulders and intone the modern holy trinity: "Who could have imagined this would happen?
Modernizing the British National Health Care Service is not just a matter of tripping in with the latest management fad in a handbasket.
They thought they could control it and realised their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out.
THIS WEEK produced powerful new evidence for those journalistic Jerimiahs who insist that Britain is heading for Hell in a state-subsidised handbasket.
We are not going to hell in a handbasket," quips John Burns, whose Irvine, Calif.
Doll definitely took issue with those who say the threetier "is going to hell in a handbasket," saying "nothing is further from the truth.
If we are to go to Heaven in a handbasket, a small but useful container, let it be well crafted, aesthetically pleasing and constructed with use and purpose in mind--not some carryall of synthetic material, offered as a mindlessly redundant "free gift" in exchange for signing up.
PEOPLE ASK, the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
And it ticks me off that while everything is going to hell in a handbasket neither the EU nor those whom our tax dollars and association dues help support are making it their top priority to protect and prepare their constituents.