... or bust!

Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi, native speakers of English!

I was wondering if the expression "... or bust!" can be used in cases where we are not talking about a destination. For example, I know it's correct to say things like "New York City or bust!" or "London or bust!" when you mean you're going to try your hardest to visit or move to that place, no matter what it takes.

But: can you use it in other contexts, like "It was Medicine or bust for her"? (when talking about a woman who was determined to become a doctor).

By the way, do you think the expression is mostly AmE, or is it perfectly understandable in BrE as well?

Thank you in advance.
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is an interesting question. I can't recall hearing it used that way. It seems a little odd to me but I would understand it.

    Yes it is a perfectly normal expression to use in BrE.

    I wonder what others think?


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    AE speaker here. I can't recall ever seeing or hearing anyone in real life actually use this phrase. I think I've read or heard it only in old novels and movies.
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