So, you ready to bust this case open?

Source: http://funkyimg.com/i/2MsD4.jpg (movie Bad Boys II)

I don't understand what this meaning.

For (this case open), what meaning word (open) here?

And how to bind (to bust) + (this case)?


To bust something open is to open it, by using great physical force, or by using extreme measures of some kind when the word is not being used literally.

The resulting state of the thing is "open". What "open" means can vary according to the context.

The phrase is used, in its literal sense, of tangible objects, like locked doors, or windows that are stuck and won't budge, or containers of some kind.

The police busted the door open with a battering ram.

Clearly the word "open" means "not shut" there; the door is swinging freely on its hinges and allowing ingress.

The phrase can be used figuratively of intangible things such as unsolved murder cases, or scandals, or even football games.

The tabloid was going to publish those incriminating photos of the politician and bust the scandal wide open.

The score was nil-nil at the half, but when the home team scored three goals in the first few minutes of the second half, they busted the game wide open.

The scandal goes from secrecy to exposure, and is now "open" in that sense, and the publishing of the scandalous photos with the resulting unwanted publicity is the "extreme measure". The football game goes from a close game, whose score had been nil-nil, to a game where one side was dominating, and is now "open" in that sense, the opposite of "close", and the extreme measure was three goals in rapid succession.


The phrase bust this case open is an idiomatic expression that means to bring the mystery around a crime to a point where it can be solved.

From Rip Tides, by Toby Neal (emphasis mine):

"Me too. I think that would have pushed Jared and Michael right over the edge. They've already had so much heartbreak from her. I hope she turns up today. Anyway, I want to bust this case open. I think we should bring Oulaki and Tadeo in. Along with the girls. Mix it up, see what we can get to pop."

Sometimes, the phrase used is bust this case wide open.

From a post titled "A Crime Has Been Commited..." at Baltimore Beatdown (emphasis mine):

Well I'm here to tell you that I will not rest until those guilty of this crime are brought to justice. I plan to scour the city, looking for any clues to help me bust this case wide open. I have my informers and snitches out on the streets looking for inside information. Anybody who has any other information should contact me and I promise to hold your identity in the strictest confidence. In addition, any reliable tips or clues that could crack this case and help put these criminals where they belong will receive a reward upon conviction and sentencing.

Note that in the second passage, it's a clue that can "bust this case wide open," which can "crack this case."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.