bust off


Senior Member
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering what the underlined part mean:

“You were very wise, Wemedge,” Bill said.

“What do you mean?” asked Nick.

“To bust off that Marge business,” Bill said.

“I guess so,” said Nick.

Context: They are sheltering from the rain in a house and chatting about marriage but I don't know the use of "bust off". I was winding whether I could use it commonly since there is not such an entry. More context please refer to:

The Three-Day Blow | PDBooks.ca
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I think it means "to break off", "to terminate" - but I am not familiar with this use of "bust off".
    Yes, that's right. That's why the very next line says "'It was the only thing to do. If you hadn't, by now you'd be back home working trying to get enough money to get married.'"


    Senior Member
    I certainly understood "bust off the relationship", Sun, but "bust off" is a colloquial expression that was more common in Hemingway's time than it is now. Use "break off" instead.
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