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go to hell in a bucket
To be in an extremely and increasingly bad or ruinous condition; to be on the inevitable path to utter failure or ruin. With the way he's running things, the company is going to hell in a bucket! After our funding was cut, our project went to hell in a bucket.
go to hell in a handbasket
To be in an extremely and increasingly bad or ruinous condition; to be on the inevitable path to utter failure or ruin. With the way he's running things, the company is going to hell in a handbasket! After our funding was cut, our project went to hell in a handbasket.
to hell in a handbasket
A set phrase used to emphasize that something has gone wrong or awry. Typically used with the verb "go." I just got pulled into a meeting and assigned a huge project, so my day has really gone to hell in a handbasket. What a mess! This party really went to hell in a handbasket quickly!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go to hell in a bucketand go to hell in a handbasket
Fig. to get rapidly worse and worse. The school system in this district is going to hell in a bucket, and no mistake. His health is going to hell in a handbasket ever since he started drinking again.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
go to hell in a handbasketundergo a rapid process of deterioration. North American informal
This expression has been recorded since the early 20th century; variants of it include go to hell in a handcart and go to hell in a basket .
1990 Nature Conservancy I read widely on environmental issues and often feel that ‘the world is going to hell in a handbasket’.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
go to hell in a handbasket, to
To deteriorate rapidly. This expression, originating in America in the early twentieth century, owes its appeal to alliteration. It also makes sense: something carried in a handbasket is light and easily conveyed, whence the phrase can mean going to ruin easily and rapidly. However, more likely it is simply an alliterative elaboration of gone to hell, which has meant ruined or destroyed since the early nineteenth century. The cliché tends to be applied to large generalities, as in “The economy is about to go to hell in a handbasket.” See also go to the devil; go(ing) to the dogs.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
go to hell in a handbasket
Heading for trouble. The expression might possibly have been inspired by the heads of decapitated prisoners falling or being dumped into handbaskets or handcarts. The “handbasket” alliteration following “going to hell” caught on and was applied to anyone whose behavior was likely to lead to an unhappy consequence.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price