I'm hoping it's politically correct to make this post. The word basket comes from Latin fascis, meaning "bundle of sticks" and bascauda, meaning "kettle". The French then combined these two words into bascat, with its present-day meaning, and this was quickly brought over to the English. The word case (as pertaining to a state of events) came from the Latin word casus and meant "an occasion". Then, as the Romans went out of style, they handed it off to the French, changing the meaning to "a situation" with more of a negative connotation and pronounced cas. Again, it was a simple task to cross the Channel to England, and that's how the word got there. But combine the words "basket" and "case"? It means someone who's off their rocker. It came to this meaning after World War I, when quadriplegics who had all their limbs blown off were called "basket cases" because they had to be carried around in such a manner. Morbid, right? Eventually the phrase transitioned to be associated with mental rather than physical disadvantages. I'm never saying that again.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a sophomore studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.