bust a gut

bust a gut

1. slang To put forth a great deal of effort. I've been busting a gut trying to get a passing grade this semester, so failing by two measly points is incredibly frustrating. Don't bust a gut trying to please these people—they'll never appreciate it.
2. slang To start laughing suddenly or uncontrollably. To convey this meaning, the phrase can also be expanded to "bust a gut laughing." The kids busted a gut when the clown fell down on stage. I nearly bust a gut laughing at that comedy show—I could barely breathe!
3. To react furiously and/or violently, to the point of losing control of one's behavior. Mom totally busted a gut when I told her I had failed math. Don't bust a gut, it's just a tiny scratch on the car.
See also: bust, 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.
See also: bust, gut

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.
See also: bust, gut

bust a gut

INFORMAL
If you bust a gut doing something, you work very hard at it. I was busting a gut doing horrible jobs — toilet cleaning among other things — to support us. Do your best to get it finished but don't bust a gut.
See also: bust, gut

bust a gut

make a strenuous effort. informal .
2001 David Moody Autumn I don't want to bust a gut building something up if we're just going to end up prisoners here.
See also: bust, gut

bust a ˈgut

(informal)
1 make a very great effort: I’m not going to bust a gut trying to be on time when I know she’ll probably be late.
2 (American English) laugh a lot: That show is hilarious, I bust a gut every time I watch it.
See also: bust, gut

bust a gut

verb
See also: bust, gut

bust a gut (to do something)

tv. to make a great effort (to do something). (Usually objectionable.) I busted a gut trying to get just the thing you wanted!
See also: bust, gut, something
References in periodicals archive ?
McCarthy expects Georgia to "bust a gut" in their attempts to derail Ireland's qualification hopes.
The reigning double world Turn to Page 60 FORMER Great Britain World Cup star Ben Barker insists he will "bust a gut" to be a success after signing for Glasgow Tigers.
Do we all think he's going to bust a gut for the Foxes?
THE comments by Jonathan Walker regarding Gordon Brown nearly made me bust a gut laughing.
But it was also the game where he learned to trust his gut - and opt for players he KNEW would bust a gut for him.
I shouldn't say that really because that's probably the reason why he couldn't play because he's bust a gut with his hernia problem, but he's more than keen and eager to get on the pitch."
When speaking on his injury he said: "I will bust a gut to play in any game."
``We will bust a gut to put on the best Formula One race in the world.
As the vast majority of rail workers are barely able to address a civil word to us, they're hardly likely to bust a gut to reunite us with our lost property, now are they?
Robin Richter claims members have "bust a gut" to find funding since the trust was set up last autumn.
New Welsh Labour leader Rhodri Morgan last night vowed he would "bust a gut" to secure millions of pounds of development fund money from London for deprived areas of Wales.
"He's busting a gut to play, I shouldn't say that really because that's probably the reason why he couldn't play because he's bust a gut with his hernia problem, but he's keen and eager to get on the pitch."
READING striker Leroy Lita believes Serbia will bust a gut to beat England today - despite already booking their place in the Under-21 European Championship semi-finals.
BOLTON striker Dean Holdsworth will bust a gut to send Sam Allardyce's team into the Premiership, even though he knows he could be on his way from the Reebok as soon as the season ends.
READING striker Leroy Lita believes Serbia will bust a gut to beat England today - despite them already booking their place in the Under-21 European Championship semi-finals.