bust a gut
bust a gut (to do something)
Fig. to work very hard; to strain oneself to accomplish something. (The word gut is considered impolite in some circumstances. Bust is a non-standard form of burst.) I don't intend to bust a gut to get there on time. I busted a gut to get there the last time, and I was the first one there.
bust a gut(slang)
1. to work very hard to achieve something It's kind of sad to see these kids bust a gut chasing a dream that will never succeed.
2. to laugh very energetically I busted a gut reading that essay.
Etymology: based on the idea that extremely hard physical work or laughter could damage your gut (stomach)
bust a gut(informal)
to work very hard or to make a big effort to achieve something I really bust a gut to get that report finished on time.
bust a gut (laughing)(informal)
to laugh a lot I bust a gut laughing at his imitation of the Queen.
bust a gut
Also, burst a gut.
1. Exert one-self to the utmost. For example, He was busting a gut trying to please her. This hyperbolic term alludes to hurting one's mid-section through physical straining. The first slangy term dates from the early 1900s, the variant from about 1700. For a synonym, see break one's ass.
2. Explode with strong feeling, especially laughter or anger. For example, Gene almost bust a gut laughing, or The foreman will burst a gut when he learns that the machine isn't repaired. The former dates from the late 1800s, the latter from about 1940.