go to hell in a handbasket

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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 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 ?
By GERRY LOUGHRANIf an older person ventures to suggest that things ain't what they used to be in dear old England, or that "we're all going to hell in a handbasket", as my elderly neighbour frequently declares, the reaction from the younger generation is invariably a patronising smile which says, "The doom-mongers are at it again".Well, this tiny island nation may be only a minuscule part of the world picture, but thinking Britons cannot escape the feeling that over recent years it has become a nastier place to live.
''And yeah, we don't want to see the world go to hell in a handbasket, and they don't want to see a resurgence of aggression by anybody,'' she said.
I think what insurers and officials need to do is to prepare folks psychologically for the change in approach and make sure that everyone understands that everyone is simply doing a better job of disclosing the ups and downs they were going through all along, not necessarily going to hell in a handbasket any more quickly they were before the new proposed rules take effect (if they take effect).
He has also rehearsed songs spanning his incredible career and albums such as Bat Out Of Hell II, Welcome To The Neighborhood, Bat Out Of Hell III, Hang Cool Teddy Bear and Hell In A Handbasket for the final shows.
In the two weeks of the Olympics, hundreds have been slaughtered in Syria, 23 people died in floods in the Philippines, and the world economy continued to go to hell in a handbasket.
"But I already have another record written that I haven't recorded yet, so we'll see what happens," he adds, revealing the album will be called Hell In A Handbasket.
Is this yet another indication that the nation is off to hell in a handbasket? Well, actually, when it was originally produced in the 1700s it was alcoholic.
No one should be that OK with things when it's raining out and the country's gone to hell in a handbasket, as my mother would have us believe, were she here to remind us.
"There will be more occasions when we think that the world is going to go to hell in a handbasket. But for the first time since last summer it is clear that the authorities are beginning to contain the financial sector crisis in the US."
Clad in a fur coat, Celia Cooney made off with the aforesaid money through a series of grocery store robberies that were reported by the likes of Ring Lardner and Walter Lippman, decried as the evidence that American youth were are going to hell in a handbasket, and admired as a working class hero.
"They thought they could control it and realised their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out.
World leaders smiled and made assurances while the planet went to hell in a handbasket. They were all liars.
They went to Hell in a handbasket and there Was the ending for a xxxxxx xxxxxx.
MODERN ENVIRONMENTALISM, born of the radical movements of the 1960s, has often made recourse to science to press its claims that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. But this environmentalism has never really been a matter of objectively describing the world and calling for the particular social policies that the description implies.