bust a gut

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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 something or someone, 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
References in periodicals archive ?
Am I missing the point or is Cameron busting a gut to stop radicals leaving this country to fight for IS?
We're busting a gut to get over the line, it's just not really happening for us.
Yesterday 's highlights While Matt Chapman was busting a gut trying to whip up excitement levels at Ascot's Shergar Cup meeting, there were thrills aplenty on the exchanges during Haydock's opener, which saw both Guru Girl and O'Gorman backed at oddson before being reeled in by Rent Free.
STOKE City's former Everton striker James Beattie, who has struggled with knee and ankle injuries of late, is busting a gut to play at Goodison Park City boss Tony Pulis said: "Beatts is making progress and I know he will have a point to prove if he plays.
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.
Not since Nacho Novo struck a late penalty in a 3-1 victory in the opening derby of last season have the Gers fans been able to celebrate a that long since my team scored I'd be busting a gut to correct it.
Teams ought to be busting a gut just to try and get the ball from us.
Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Boyzone and Michaels Ball and Crawford are just some of the stars busting a gut to hit those high notes in a selection drawn from the shows.
Finally, we would have a real jack, a hydraulic model that would let us lift a fully loaded wheel without busting a gut, maybe even a jack powered by the truck's electrical system.
They will be busting a gut to beat us and we will be busting a gut to beat them.
WE should have regrouped since last weekend and the players should be busting a gut to prove they are not as bad as they looked at Wigan.
Paul is busting a gut to be fit for his side's crunch tie at Stark's Park but already has an eye on the future.
It's safe to assume, then, that Waterford, and others like them will be busting a gut to avoid a bottom four finish.