View Single Post
Old 10 April 2008, 07:11 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,408

Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
And "basket case", as one of the article comments points out, is a reference to the stereotype of insane asylums having the inmates weave baskets to pass the time and pay for their keep (probably).
People keep saying this (in the comments to the article, too) but that's the only one that the writer actually provides an independent reference for, and that reference quotes the first known usage, and backs up what the article says.

(eta) Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable also agrees with him on that one - "Originally, a soldier who had lost all four limbs".
Reply With Quote