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
References in periodicals archive ?
Some people seem to think that Scott is a basket case but that is far from the truth, believe me.
THEATRE/SHOWS CARDIFF: New Theatre (029 2087 8889), Basket Case.
MARGARET Curran says an independent Scotland would have a basket case economy like Greece.
JeffJones,whowasLabour leader of Bridgend council, describedWales'economy as being "the basket case of the UK".
Expect all the hits from Basket Case to Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
With the country an economic basket case and private sector jobs lost by the millions, these Luddites who wish to live in the good old days want to put the boot in further.
The state of the economy is now a basket case, with such investments as Premium Bond prizes now being no more than when these bonds were introduced in 1956
ROMA are on a rotten run but they aren't a basket case yet.
Dare-devil pilot Ian Ashpole proved he was a real basket case recently when he lay on a hammock stretched out between the Apple and Strawberry - 7,000 ft above ground.
WHEN MARIA SILVIA BASTOS MARQUES BECAME finance secretary of Rio de Janeiro in 1993, the city was a basket case.
A Democratic physician, assessing the same medical data, would probably rate the poor guy a basket case, and recommend early retirement--long before the election.
The Chariots Of Fire star is appearing in Basket Case at His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen this week.
WALES' economy was last night dubbed "the basket case of the UK" after a report showed the nation suffered the worst decline in relative income levels in the UK over two decades.
It should be a regional set-up, but not to the extent it ceases to be anything other than Welsh rugby's basket case.