phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by Bruce Kahl on September 06, 2004

In Reply to: Bust posted by David FG on September 06, 2004

: : Earlier Bruce Kahl created a thread headed 'busted'. That got me thinking about the various uses of the word. Because his thread was taking a very clear and serious direction I didn't want to digress too much on his topic, hence the new thread.

: : This query is to ask why someone's breasts are called a bust. Or why someone's chest is called a bust (eg. sculptures from the chest up).

: : Any clues?

: It's from the French 'buste' or Italian 'busto'. It has nothing to do with 'bust' meaning broken, which is a corruption of the word 'burst'.


Going back a bit further the Ancient Romans had a word for "tomb" which was tumbus -a -um which looks like it hopped around for a while to Italian and became "busto".
And the keeper or maintainer of the tomb has a job title of "tumbarius". Cool

I can't think of anything English or Romantic that emerged from the keeper's job.

  • Bust Smokey Stover 07/September/04
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