Idioms

Origin of bust

2
1755–65; variant of burst, by loss of r before s, as in ass2, bass2, passel, etc.
Can be confusedburst burst (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

Historically bust is derived from a dialect pronunciation of burst and is related to it much as cuss is related to curse. Bust is both a noun and a verb and has a wide range of meanings for both uses. Many are slang or informal. A few, as “a decline in economic conditions, depression,” are standard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bust one's ass (1 of 2)

bust

1
/ (bʌst) /

noun

the chest of a human being, esp a woman's bosom
a sculpture of the head, shoulders, and upper chest of a person

Word Origin for bust

C17: from French buste, from Italian busto a sculpture, of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for bust one's ass (2 of 2)

bust

2
/ (bʌst) informal /

verb busts, busting, busted or bust


noun

adjective

Word Origin for bust

C19: from a dialect pronunciation of burst
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with bust one's ass (1 of 2)

bust one's ass

see break one's ass.


Idioms and Phrases with bust one's ass (2 of 2)

bust

In addition to the idioms beginning with bust

  • bust a gut
  • bust one's ass

also see:

  • break (bust) one's ass
  • go broke (bust)

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.