Was a wicker-type basket with a handle at both ends used by morticians to transport bodies to their premises ever referred to as a handbasket?
#11513. Asked by shakey. (Apr 09 01 3:12 PM)
I'm not finding anything that directly uses the word 'handbasket' when referring to the wicker baskets used to transport bodies, but it would seem plausible that the phrase 'going to Hell in a handbasket' might have its origin here. Here's a couple of things I did find. |
Coffin: From the Latin cophinus, and from the Greek Kophinus meaning 'a Basket.' Up until recent times, the funeral director would have used a wicker basket to transport the deceased from the place of death to their funeral homes.
The most interesting parts of the museum are the pre 20th century sections. The Civil War diorama explains how soldiers, too wounded to walk, were carried from the field in wicker baskets, from which we get 'basket case.'
Pictures of baskets:
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