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bust one's gut(s)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by HSS, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    I heard a friend of mine say 'I won't bust my gut on that project' or 'I won't bust my guts on that project,' when he had no mind to make effort for the project. Now, I know you say 'bust a gut on that project,' but is 'bust my gut' or 'bust my guts' a variant of 'bust a gut'? Would you use it at all, or do you think you would hear it said at all?

    Hiro
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  2. Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    The idiom is bust a gut, HSS, not "my" and not "guts" (plural). People don't always bust a gut to speak idiomatically.
     
  3. Embonpoint Senior Member

    Boston
    English--American
    I think the expression "bust a gut" is colorful and fun if you are speaking casually. It's not something I say, but not because I don't like it...it just doesn't come to mind for me.

    An expression I do use all the time is similar. "I bust my gut laughing!"

    To mean the same thing as "bust a gut," I say (and it rhymes) "bust my butt."

    "I'm not going to bust my butt for this company. They're just going to lay me off at 55 anyway."
     
  4. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    You don't use 'bust my gut' to mean 'make a great effort,' do you? The one you showed means you expressed your feeling to a great extent.'
     
  5. Embonpoint Senior Member

    Boston
    English--American
    Bust your gut laughing is another valid expression! To me it isn't the emotion, but the physical manifestation of laughing that makes my gut bust, or nearly does. Ever laugh so hard you are holding your stomach? That's when I'd say, "i laughed so hard I nearly busted my gut!"
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  6. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Yes, I know:) (although the one I saw in a dictionary is 'bust a gut laughing')

    I was just wondering if you use 'bust my gut' to mean make a great effort.:)

    Hiro
     
  7. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Personally, I would only use bust a gut -- not bust my/your gut.
     
  8. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Both when you mean 'make a great effort to achieve something' and when you mean 'explode with strong feeling, especially laughter,' Copy?

    Hiro
     
  9. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Yes, for both:
    I'm not going to bust a gut on that project.
    I was laughing so hard I nearly busted a gut.
     

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