to hell in a handbasket

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This term dates back to at least 1941, but its origins, albeit scarce in documentation, date back even further to 1913 with the term to heaven in a handbasket or to heaven in a wheelbarrow. Even more abstract references date back to 1714 with a text reading, "Govr said he would give his head in a Handbasket as soon as he would pass it."


to hell in a handbasket ‎(not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) To a bad state of affairs quickly.
    I watched as the guy in charge did nothing and the whole place went to hell in a handbasket.

Derived terms[edit]