it’s shit or bust.

  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Context?

    This low register expression may refer to someone's efforts to defecate. It may, depending on context, refer to something entirely different.
     

    anglicana

    Senior Member
    France
    I like both these sets of guys. Todd and Brayley, both got lots of energy, lots of commitment, lots of great ideas.
    I’d rather have someone that they are given the role, it’s almost shit or bust.
     

    GamblingCamel

    Senior Member
    USA English
    First of all, it's not just that your excerpt is slang.
    It's very confusing, poorly worded slang. Is it written purposely
    that way as part of a novel ?

    I'll give you some context for the idiomatic form, " ..... or bust."

    "To go bust" means "to be bankrupt / broke ."
    It is part of a famous American historical idiom of the 1840's Gold Rush,
    "California or Bust", or "Get to California for gold or go broke trying."
    In the card game Blackjack you go bust if your score is over 21,
    which is an automatic loss.

    "To bust" as a verb means "to break, to bring an end to,
    to wear down, to explode."

    I have also found "Sh*t or Bust" as a title used by heavy-amped explosive bands.
    There is no entry in urbandictionary.com which surprised me.

    My general impression is that it means one does not have much of a choice in an action :
    one is compelled to act or express oneself.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello anglicana. I'm afraid I don't understand the sentence written in green (that colour is very hard to read, incidentally!) Perhaps you would like to ask your question in French in the French/English Forum if you are not too sure of the English expression?
     

    GamblingCamel

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Is the specific context that a girl feels compelled to make a choice
    between two guys ? Then perhaps if she doesn't choose one (to s*it),
    she will end up with none ("bust"). Just a guess.

    I don't want to go too much into the other details of your two lines.
    But by conventional logic, Todd and Brayley, together form a single set of guys.
    There can not be "both these sets of guys."
    "Someone that they are" is confusing for a similar reason (''one", then "they").
     

    GamblingCamel

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I had never before heard the expression, "Rip shit or bust."
    I did a search and located three New Zealand examples --
    the names of a boat, an avant-garde clothing shop, and a compilation of punk bands.

    AngelEyes : Do you hear that here in the States ?
     

    GamblingCamel

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I had never before heard the expression, "Rip shit or bust."

    So what exactly does it mean ?

    I was just now able to get into your Cassell's Dictionary of Slang link, so I am editing by answering my own question.
    "origins New Zealand 1940's, used of a situation in which one forges on, irrespective of the consequences, extension of SHIT OR BUST."
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I like both these sets of guys. Todd and Brayley, both got lots of energy, lots of commitment, lots of great ideas.
    I’d rather have someone that they are given the role, it’s almost shit or bust.

    I like both these guys. Todd and Brayley both have got lots of energy, lots of commitment, lots of ideas. I'd rather have someone like them get the role (or someone like that): a guy who (rip) shits or bust.

    (Meaning a person who passionately gives it everything he's got with total commitment and unvarnished enthusiasm. Someone who roars through life unafraid and undeterred.)

    It's almost shit (push it out to win it) or bust (go for broke and possibly lose.)

    This is just my interpretation, based on a poorly written example, a dubious meaning, and a weak conclusion.

    Gambling camel, I only posted this because you asked for my interpretation of my possible suggestion.

    angelicana has a lot of blanks to fill in here.

    My variation seems really close, but who knows at this point?

    AngelEyes
     

    nzseries1

    Senior Member
    New Zealand - English
    Rip shit or bust, i've heard it once or twice in my life, but I couldn't tell you what it meant :D
    It's almost shit or bust, never heard of it! :)
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Shit or bust is not part of my active vocabulary, but I have heard it before, and it appears on-line in quite a few blogs, mostly from Britain or Ireland. I understand it to mean that X must perform now (shit, in the rather Freudian sense of 'produce results') or disaster will follow (bust). More loosely, it might mean this is the decisive moment.

    As to the use of shit in this positive sense, the Oxford English Dictionary has this example: 1978 T. L. SMITH Money War (1979) I. 149 The planes..had shit a neat stream of Day-Glo orange bricks.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    As to the use of shit in this positive sense, the Oxford English Dictionary has this example: 1978 T. L. SMITH Money War (1979) I. 149 The planes..had shit a neat stream of Day-Glo orange bricks.
    Maybe drifting a bit off course, but 'shit a brick' in AE doesn't have a positive sense. It's usually an admonition to calm down: "Don't shit a brick!"
     

    melvis0

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    "Rip, sh*t or bust."

    This expression is used a lot in New Zealand and Australia. It's used to describe someone, eg a plumber.

    "The plumber came in today all 'rip, sh*t or bust' and left holes and a mess everywhere. He charged like a wounded bull."
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    (se16teddy)

    That's what I too understand the phrase to mean, and how I use it myself.

    Rover
    I've only come across the expression in a more or less disgraceful song which students used to sing when drunk. I won't put any of it up here, but, for those who aren't faint-hearted, here's a link.

    I'm not clear that it either confirms or conflicts with Rover's use of the expression, which I've always taken for a homely way of suggesting that one should grab fortune by the forelock, whatever the risk.
     
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    straygoat

    New Member
    English - England
    I hear the expression a lot in the UK. It means 'all or nothing' i.e. to risk everything to win. The easiest example I can think of is a football team being 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go, so they throw caution to the wind for the last 10 minutes and take risks to score a goal.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I hear the expression a lot in the UK. It means 'all or nothing' i.e. to risk everything to win. The easiest example I can think of is a football team being 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go, so they throw caution to the wind for the last 10 minutes and take risks to score a goal.
    Welcome to the forum, straygoat: I agree with you completely. It is the definition that se16teddy gave above.

    I am surprised there are so few who have heard it - I see it as relative common and certainly current.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Maybe drifting a bit off course, but 'shit a brick' in AE doesn't have a positive sense. It's usually an admonition to calm down: "Don't shit a brick!"
    In BE, 'Shit a brick!' is used as an expletive when greatly surprised. Also, "I was shitting bricks" - I was exceptionally worried/afraid/surprised. (The past participle is usually 'shat'.)
     

    fiercediva

    Senior Member
    American English
    Seeing as this is BE, I am pretty sure the original post is referring to this Todd & Brayley (link to internetentrepreneurs.co.uk) who were once on Channel 4's Make Me a Million. They do sound like guys who tried to do everything to win that reality competition and who've put considerable effort into their various business ventures.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I've had heard "shit or get off the pot" where I am from. It sounds similar.

    It would be used to say "make it happen, or get out of the way".
     
    I hear the expression a lot in the UK. It means 'all or nothing' i.e. to risk everything to win. The easiest example I can think of is a football team being 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go, so they throw caution to the wind for the last 10 minutes and take risks to score a goal.
    That's spot on, straygoat: it's 'all or nothing'.

    Cf the less offensive 'muck or nettles'.

    Idioms about bricks or pots have nothing to do with it.
     
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