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 ?
Today, the entire infrastructure of the Serbian economy, already a financial basket case before the air war ever started, is being destroyed.
"He thought it was a basket case, the Government knows it's a basket case.
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Basket Case - which tells the tale of a divorced couple reunited when their beloved family dog is taken ill - recorded the biggest loss of pounds 26,928.
Imagine if English football itself - not just the players, but the whole pyramid of insecurity and anxiety that supports our national obsession - is the basket case?" - Ed Smith, writer and former Test cricketer on England's football managers.
CARDIFF: New Theatre (029 2087 8889), Basket Case. 2.30pm, 7.30pm.
The real basket case economy is that of the UK, created by Labour and perpetuated by the Con-Dems.
Then compare what has been achieved in Hartlepool, alongside what has been achieved in Redcar & Cleveland and let the people judge who is the basket case? Now who said that first?
Where were the pundits debating whether Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti is a complete basket case or whether he's just been saddled with an impossible job?
This comes in line with Andrews, who has said she's been an emotional basket case since the footage entered Internet infamy last year, also seeking 335,000 dollars in restitution from Barrett.
And Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jack Stopforth said people should visit the city before delivering their verdict, adding: "The idea that we are still a basket case is just not true any more."
The Lonely Planet guide, which once described the second city as a "drab, grimy urban basket case", has singled out next month's Flatpack Festival as one of their must-do activities.
Cllr Storey said: "Go back to the 1980s and 1990s and Liverpool was seen as a basket case. Use the name anywhere outside the UK and people still had high regard for it."
The survey described Dublin as "Wall Street on the Liffey" and said in just a few decades Ireland had transformed itself from "economic basket case to Celtic brawler".
Consider this: The United States has virtually abandoned Argentina, whose economy shrank by 12% in 2002, not to mention Haiti, which remains an economic basket case eight years after U.S.