handbasket


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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!
See also: handbasket, hell

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.
See also: go, handbasket, hell

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.
See also: bucket, go, hell

go to hell in a bucket

 and 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.
See also: bucket, go, hell

go to hell in a handbasket

undergo 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’.
See also: go, handbasket, hell

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.
See also: go, hell

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.
See also: go, handbasket, hell
References in periodicals archive ?
Sure, those who think that they're going to be able to succeed by making massive numbers of undifferentiated whatevers are going to find themselves in the aforementioned handbasket. But those who understand that the New Normal has a whole lot to do with distinction and differentiation are going to be among the prosperous.
If we are to go to Heaven in a handbasket, a small but useful container, let it be well crafted, aesthetically pleasing and constructed with use and purpose in mind--not some carryall of synthetic material, offered as a mindlessly redundant "free gift" in exchange for signing up.
PEOPLE ASK, the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
And it ticks me off that while everything is going to hell in a handbasket neither the EU nor those whom our tax dollars and association dues help support are making it their top priority to protect and prepare their constituents.
Why didn't they just say, "The company is going to hell in a handbasket"?
It seems that the average education critic believes that, even as public education goes to hell in a handbasket, the great little school down the block remains a lucky anomaly.
In a calm, unhurried atmosphere, TSA rules and carriers' policies normally mesh, albeit with some clashing of gears, but if you're in a congested airport with long lines, things can quickly go to hell in a handbasket. I suggest that you be prepared for some conflicts of the rules, delays and instant notoriety--as I enjoyed on several recent trips.
This year it's solo, the [3.sup.e], and who'll intercede for us itinerants while the world goes to hell in a handbasket (floats like a discarded dinner-dress down to the aqueduct)?
The country is headed to hell in a handbasket from so many directions one can barely keep track.
Profits grew, and Hershey traded his handbasket for a pushcart.
media delivered the news of this election like Le Pen was breathing down the neck of Chirac and France was going to hell in a handbasket'.
They went to Hell in a handbasket and there Was the ending for a xxxxxx xxxxxx.
So readers get the impression that youth are going to hell in a handbasket. When, in fact, they are not."
"We didn't anticipate the economy going to hell in a handbasket," he said.