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all (one's) eggs in one basket

All of one's hopes/efforts/resources are committed to one area, which is considered a risky strategy. Stella put all her eggs in one basket by just applying to Harvard, but it's the only school she wants to go to. If I were you, I'd have a backup plan, rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.
See also: all, basket, egg, one

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 house

A bar, café, or other public venue where musicians perform and are paid only by the collection of money from the audience in a basket or similar receptacle. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Many of the most famous musicians began their careers eking out a living in basket houses around Greenwich Village in New York City.
See also: basket, house

breadbasket

The stomach. Ooh, the goalie took that shot right in the breadbasket.

can't carry a tune

Can't sing well; totally lacks musical talent. I think it's lovely that George wants to be in his church choir, but that boy can't carry a tune!
See also: carry, tune

can't carry a tune in a bushel basket

Totally without musical talent, especially in singing. I think it's lovely that George wants to be in his church choir, but that boy can't carry a tune in a bushel basket!
See also: basket, bushel, carry, tune

dinner basket

slang The stomach. Ooh, the goalie took that shot right in the dinner basket.
See also: basket, dinner

don't put all your eggs in one basket

Don't focus all of your attention on one thing or in one area, in case that situation changes or goes awry. I know you love Harvard, but don't put all your eggs in one basket—make sure to apply to several other schools too. Don't put all your eggs in one basket with your investments. Make sure you diversify your portfolio.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

give a basket

To reject a fiancé; to refuse to get married. The phrase comes from an old German custom of leaving a basket on a former lover's roof. I thought for sure that Denise and I were going to get married—I never expected her to give a basket to me in the end. I love Peter, but ultimately I had to give a basket to him because we just want different things in life.
See also: basket, give

put all (one's) eggs in one basket

To invest, devote, or commit all of one's energy or resources into a single venture, opportunity, or goal, generally at the risk of losing everything in the event that that thing fails or does not come to fruition. She has all her eggs in one basket with this merger deal. If it doesn't work out, I doubt her company can survive. I applied to several colleges so I wasn't putting all my eggs in one basket.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

underwater basket weaving

Any college or university course that is absurd in its uselessness or irrelevance, especially an elective unrelated to one's degree that is very easy to pass. I spent most of my first year in college partying. On the actual academic front, well, most of my classes were in underwater basket weaving. Instead of learning practical things like business management and economics, students these days are filling their days with underwater basket weaving and other such nonsense.
See also: basket, weave

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

can't carry a tune

 and cannot carry a tune; can't carry a tune in a bushel basket; can't carry a tune in a bucket; can't carry a tune in a paper sack
Fig. [to be] unable to sing a simple melody; lacking musical ability. I wish that Tom wouldn't try to sing. He can't carry a tune. I don't know why Mary's in the choir. She can't carry a tune in a bushel basket. Joe likes to sing in the shower, though he can't carry a tune in a bucket. I'd try to hum the song for you, but I can't carry a tune in a paper sack.
See also: carry, tune

put all one's eggs in one basket

Fig. to make everything dependent on only one thing; to place all one's resources in one place, account, etc. (If the basket is dropped, all is lost.) Don't invest all your money in one company. Never put all your eggs in one basket. I advise you to diversify and not to put all your eggs in one basket.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

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

put all one's eggs in one basket

Risk all of one's resources in a single venture, as in He had warned Peter about investing heavily in a single stock; it was putting all his eggs in one basket . This proverb, first recorded in 1710, has largely replaced the much older trust all one's goods to one ship. Mark Twain played on it in Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894): "The fool saith, 'Put not all thy eggs in one basket' ... but the wise man saith, 'Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket!'"
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

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

put all your eggs in one basket

COMMON If you put all your eggs in one basket, you put all your efforts or resources into one course of action and will not be able to do anything else if this fails. You could argue this is a risky strategy, putting all your eggs in one basket; if the firm goes bust you lose your job and your savings and everything. Don't put your eggs in one basket; study hard at school and always keep an alternative job in mind. Note: People sometimes put other words before eggs and basket to show a particular situation they are talking about. Never put all your investment eggs in one basket. These countries have put their development eggs in the tourism basket, spending millions of dollars from public funds to build the sorts of facilities that foreign tourists demand.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

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

don't put all your eggs in one basket

don't risk everything on the success of one venture. proverb
1996 Mail on Sunday Having too many eggs in one basket—the British stock market—can be a bad idea. Overseas investments can add balance to an investment portfolio.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

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

put all your eggs into one ˈbasket

risk all your money, effort, etc. on one thing, so that if it is not successful, you have no other chance: It may be better to invest a small amount of money in several businesses rather than putting all your eggs into one basket.
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put

basket

n. the stomach. (see also breadbasket.) You’ve got a lot of guts in the basket. It’s huge.

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

breadbasket

and dinner basket
n. the belly; the stomach. I hit him, pow, right in the breadbasket. I have a little pain in the dinner basket.

dinner basket

verb
See also: basket, dinner

underwater basket weaving

n. an imaginary, very easy high school or college course. If I can just find a course in underwater basket weaving, I’ll have an easy semester.
See also: basket, weave

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

put all one's eggs in one basket

To risk all one’s resources in a single venture. One might think this proverb was very old indeed, but the same idea used to be put as trusting all one’s goods to one ship, which antedates it by many centuries. “Putting all one’s eggs in the same basket,” thereby incurring the risk that the basket will be dropped and all the eggs will break, was first stated only in 1710, in Samuel Palmer’s Moral Essays on Proverbs. Mark Twain contradicted the idea in Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894): “The fool saith, ‘Put not all thy eggs in one basket’—which is but a manner of saying, ‘Scatter your money and your attention’; but the wise man saith, ‘Put all your eggs in one basket, and WATCH THAT BASKET.’”
See also: all, basket, egg, one, put
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