basket case

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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

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

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

a basket case

COMMON
1. If a country or organization is a basket case, its economy or finances are in a very bad state. The popular image about this region a few years ago was that it was a basket case. In the seventies, the Post Office was regarded as a basket case, doomed to decline by the competition from phone, fax and modem.
2. If a person is a basket case, they are crazy. Mary comes to work in tears every day — I tell you, she's turning into a basket case. Note: This expression was originally used to describe someone, especially a soldier, who had lost all four limbs. It may have come about because some of these people had to be carried around in baskets.
See also: basket, case

basket case

a person or thing regarded as useless or unable to cope. informal
The expression evolved from a US slang term for a soldier who had lost all four limbs in action, and was thus unable to move independently.
2004 Royal Academy Magazine The transformation of Liverpool from urban basket case to textbook case for design-led regeneration has been one of the most remarkable turnarounds in recent city history.
See also: basket, case

a ˈbasket case

(informal)
1 a country or an organization whose economic situation is very bad: A few years ago, the country was an economic basket case, but now things are different.
2 a person who is slightly crazy and who has problems dealing with situations: ‘How did the interview go?’ ‘Terrible! I’m sure they thought I was a complete basket case.’
See also: basket, case

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

basket case

An individual too impaired to function. This term dates from World War I, when it denoted a soldier who had lost both arms and legs and had to be carried off the field in a basket or litter. In civilian usage the term was applied to an emotionally unstable person who is unable to cope. Today it is used still more loosely to describe an attack of nerves, as in “The mother of the bride was a basket case.”
See also: basket, case
References in periodicals archive ?
Just 12 months or so before Hills' darkest days, the UK economy was also a basketcase. Banks such as Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock, and later, and much more threateningly for UK plc, the big beasts that were RBS and HBOS, had got into a terrible pickle by reinventing themselves as casino-style lenders with dire consequences.
Today the Irish economy is a basketcase. It needs an pounds 85billion emergency bail-out to prevent the country going bust.
Other than that, turn the volume up and enjoy classic like Basketcase, When I Come Around and American Idiot.
Young must take a lot of the credit for the way he has gone about rebuilding the basketcase of European rugby.
"When I was brought to the club by (former owner) Sam Hammam I told him the place was a basketcase, beyond saving was how I put it," said Ridsdale.
Now it would be wrong to be too cynical about this, for the city deserves credit for having pulled itself up from being Britain's principal urban basketcase a quarter of a century ago, when it was known mostly for economic collapse, race riots and self-destructive militant socialism.
And this is a process, remember, that has reduced a nation that was once at least stable and prosperous into a basketcase in which those forced to leave their homes are now counted in millions.
WHY WOULD ANY MEXICAN IMMIGRANT WANT THE PLACE HE JUST MOVED TO BECOME PART OF THE ECONOMIC BASKETCASE HE JUST FLED FROM?
She's a basketcase (some of the only weaknesses of the book come from the cliche of the poor little rich girl).
Also, Jane Ann Porter, previous owner of BasketCase Gifts, will manage the store.
And Erica's obsession with VW Beetles earned her "Bug." Jenn, 11, thinks, "Nicknames are fun, and they're best when you're passing notes and don't want to get busted!" Who'd ever guess Jenn is also known as "Boo," "Babe," and "Basketcase?" Only her BFF knows her multiple IDs.
Thus, in marked contrast to images of explosion, depictions of cold war daily life, of espionage and anti-bomb sentiment, of the strain of normalcy during an age of lunacy, are instead pathologized as sickness--in the figure of the "basketcase"--in a sizeable body of postwar/cold war nuclear-themed novels.(2) While the shell-shocked soldier/veteran is a recurring figure throughout modernist and postmodernist treatments of war,(3) my project here is to consider the civilian as "contaminated" by the violence and fear attached to battle, thanks in large part to the way in which peacetime was contaminated and spoiled by these same fears throughout the cold war.
Another is "Basketcase," starring Denis Leary as a sports nut who takes one of those million-dollar shots during a televised game.
The country was once derided by Henry Kissinger as a "basketcase." It is now a trend-setter for Third World countries looking for new ways to give poor people innovative economic opportunities.