bust a gut
Also, burst a gut.
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.
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.
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How to use bust a gut in a sentence
ROME — What does it take for a Hollywood A-lister to get a private audience with Pope Francis?Pope Francis Has the Pleasure of Meeting Angelina Jolie for a Few Seconds|Barbie Latza Nadeau|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Nobody ever says they want to become a cop so they can bust people for urinating in public or drinking alcohol on their stoop.
Yes, Byrd—dead four-and-a-half years now—was a Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game|Michael Tomasky|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
By the time it concluded with a sing-a-long of “XO,” Beyoncé had done the rare thing.Bow Down, Bitches: How Beyoncé Turned an Elevator Brawl Into a Perfect Year|Kevin Fallon|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In another year, stories about the strange new face of an A-list actress might draw chortles and cackles.Renée Zellweger Got a New Face—and Everyone Had An Opinion About It|Kevin O’Keeffe|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Now-a-days it is the bankrupt who flouts, and his too confiding creditors who are jeered and laughed at.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
He felt himself the meanest, vilest thing a-crawl upon this sinful earth, and she—dear God!St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
All that scientific bric-a-brac in the cupboard had far better be thrown away.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
The back of her head will be quite in line with her charming little bust, and I for one shall walk round and laugh in her face.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
Among these are "Medusa," a bronze bust; and a "Mater Dolorosa," in terra-cotta.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement