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 ?
An haul of four points from three games has turned us in to Group F basketcases.
Twenty-five years ago, Liverpool and Merseyside were near basketcases, down-at-heel and down on their luck.
Hard-up Wales does relatively better than the rest of the UK but grants this side of the border are set to dry up now so many Eastern European basketcases have joined the Union.
Andres Romero and Martin Kaymer were ten shots off the pace going into the weekend at Wentworth, but I was convinced the runaway leader Paul McGinley would falter, and I felt that Romero and Kaymer were worthy basketcases.
It's just another day in Aston, where the basketcases have taken over.
I argue then that the basketcases found throughout nuclear texts are much more definitive of, yet much less often considered with regard to their significance for, the cold war era than are the bombshell figures so commonly found in cold war literature.
Bangladesh is on every aid organization's list of international basketcases.
Instead of the cities being seen as desirable sources of wealth creation, they are now seen by some as economic basketcases.