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  • Lengthy comment moved from under definition "having no money" DAVilla 11:05, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Also used in present tense, as "I'm going to bust that drug dealer," but the past participle is taking on a life of its own. In particular, it can combine with "so", as in "you're so busted", but then again, I've also heard "you're so fired". This is probably really a special usage of so, treating any past participle as an adjective for special flavor


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Three senses:

  1. Caught in the act of doing something one shouldn't do. (adjective)
  2. Caught and arrested for committing a crime. (adjective)
  3. Indicates that the person addressed has been caught in the act, whether by the speaker or a third party. (interjection)

All of these seem to be verb forms of to bust. There are a couple of other meanings that I don't know - where in the world (no really) do people say busted to mean broke (having no money)? Mglovesfun (talk) 13:12, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Dude, not a Johnny Cash fan? "I went to my brother to ask for a loan, I was busted...I hate to beg like a dog for a bone, but I'm busted. My brother said, ‘There ain't a thing I can wife and my kids are all down with the flu...and I was just thinkin of callin on you, I'm busted.’ " Genius song. Ƿidsiþ 14:28, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Move to RfV. Whether it is a verb or adjective depends on the grammar of the word in context, and not upon the relationship in the meaning. Consider this quote from b.g.c:
The government is trying to recoup monies they think are owed to them because the busted individual has made money and not shared what they should with Uncle Sam.
The word busted is here used in a noun phrase as a modifier between the noun and its article. It thus qualifies as adjectival usage. I agree, however, that the interjection probably does not merit a separate sense. Almost any adjective can be shouted. --EncycloPetey 14:23, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
The adjective sense of "caught in the act of doing something wrong" is readily cited as an adjective. I would claim it to be in widespread use in the US. The phrase "You are so busted" is a particularly common form. "So" is used in the sense of "very". I don't think that most other senses of "busted" would meet adjective tests. DCDuring TALK 15:36, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Though, adverbs can qualify verbs as well as adjectives. I don't really buy it. Not that easily, anyway. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:47, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
On reflection "you are busted" is the passive voice, "you are so busted" is also the passive voice with an extra adverb. So I would deny it's in clear widespread use. Oh I'm deleting the interjection. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:17, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
If I understand your argument, you are saying that modification by "so" implies that "busted" cannot be an adjective. That seems so wrong to me.
If you insist (a not unreasonable stance), put it in RfV for attestation meeting Wiktionary:English adjectives
The sense of busted (arrested) doesn't seem to me to be used as a true adjective, but that could also be resolved as an RfV.
There is no change of meaning in the stand-alone use of "busted", so I would not see why we would have an Interjection PoS, thereby implying that there was such a change of meaning.
BTW, I have separated some senses of "bust" and "busted" by etymology. DCDuring TALK 19:29, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Not quite, I'm saying that I (personally) wouldn't accept "so busted" in passive voice constructions such as the one above as adjectival use of "busted". Not particularly convinced I'm right, mind you. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:37, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
But, what was your argument?
Following are bgc hit for "very busted" and "more busted than in the sense under discussion (the 1999 quote being a pun.):
  • 1999, John Marsden, Darkness, be my friend ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
    If we broke a window the patrols would notice and we'd be more busted than the window
  • 2005, Terri Minsky; Douglas Tuber, Tim Maile, Oh, brother! ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
    We're so very busted, Lizzie thought. She and Matt turned to see who had caught them.
  • 2009, Emily Giffin, Love the One You're With ((Please specify the language of the quote)), page 137:
    I jump, feeling startled and very busted. Flustered, I stand to hug my sister while sputtering an explanation,
-- DCDuring TALK 20:19, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
"So" can certainly modify verbs, as in most versions of John 3:16, or as in the slightly Valley-girl-ish "I so know what you did". There seem to be some restrictions relating to the semantics, register, placement, and speaker, but they're complex, and I'm not sure of all of them. I wouldn't trust them to rule out the possibility that a given modificand is a normal, non-adjective-ized past participle used in a passive voice construction.
However, google books:"very busted" has enough usable hits in the sense of "caught in the act". I've already added one. And I think that google books:"felt busted" might, too, though I'm not sure: in some of the cites I'm not positive I know what is meant.
Also, it seems to me that "is bustedADJ" means "has been bustedPP".
RuakhTALK 20:34, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

closed this discussion, with the following result:

  • the interjection sense was already deleted,
  • the sense Caught in the act of doing something one shouldn't do. is kept, as there's very clear consensus for keeping it,
  • the sense Caught and arrested for committing a crime. is deleted.

-- Liliana 20:44, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


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Rfv-sense - ugly.

  • I looked for "busted woman" in Google book search and only found "big-busted woman" and similar. SemperBlotto 15:05, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
You have to search something more along the lines of "her face is busted." Don't really use it as "busted woman." More along the lines of "Her friends are busted." —This comment was unsigned.

Actually, those two phrase both get zero Google Book hits. Who uses this term, and where? Where can we find some actual uses (not dictionaries of made-up words). Mglovesfun (talk) 20:52, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I've found one clear use so far on Usenet, and one less-clear use. - -sche (discuss) 21:00, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
As you already know, a lot of words on wiktionary are not in other official dictionaries, they're fairly commonly used however and most of them still made it onto the site. If some wanted to be a jerk, they could put the verify tag on probably half of the slang words on this site. I don't understand why my links were not legitimate enough, it shows people use it. But since you are requesting more links, searched google for you:

While searching, it also made me realize there is another meaning for the term someone's face is busted. While googling I also came across a bunch of posts about someone's face being busted after getting into a fight. I hope this is enough evidence this word is actually used. Personally I hear it all the time (not that its going to convince you).--Bluesoju 13:41, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

We need the uses to be durably archived; Web pages can disappear without being kept, unlike books, which are stored in libraries, and then the citations would be dubious and unprovable. So the links you find need to meet WT:CFI (usually this means being in printed books or on Usenet newsgroups). Equinox 13:44, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm just curious, because I highly doubt a lot of these words on the entire site would be found in printed books. For example the term "ftw," Yet it's not disputed at all. Usenet however I can't really comment on since I never use it.--Bluesoju 05:08, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
I've now added a Usenet citation for FTW. Equinox 16:25, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
I've added a third citation and marked this passed. - -sche (discuss) 02:51, 10 March 2012 (UTC)