"Sh*t or bust" is a vulgar English expression denoting a crunch point when a person has to (or chooses to) make a decision that will result either in success or in ruin.
What is the best Spanish translation?
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There are a couple of options you can use, but they do not include a swear word, they are quite harmless to use:
I can't think now of a similar sentence which includes a swear word, but I'm sure there must be some of them.
To mirror the effect of the original "sh*t or bust", I think it is important to use a similarly disjunctive construction, with "o ... o" (either ... or).
I imagine somebody in that situation saying something like:
(With this, either I rise to fame or I become an all-time loser.)
Another one, which has a stronger financial connotation, is:
The second alternative with "me hundo" is particularly colorful because it is connected with staying afloat (salvarse) or going down (hundirse).
In Argentina, we can also say this colloquially:
It arises from the comments that the expression could be close to:
I find most of the suggested expressions proposed already formally correct, though lacking the rough edge that profanity gives strengthening a phrase.
I may mention a very common one used widely in Northen Argentina, (it of course might have a broader usage, I am not claiming it to be exclusive).
When someone is uncertain about whether to act but urged to make up his mind and conclude the deliberations, the way that person switches to action is often reassured (self-encouraged) saying
"<let's do whatever>"
"y que se cague [que se pudra] (todo)..."
Normally facing an inconvenient path (or deciding on a some tough dilemma) where the most impulsive resolution to act, ends up defiantly that way: going forward and facing whatever consequence it may cause. I find that phrase as a sort of equivalent motto, pronounced in a
shit or bust sense.
For example, say you realized that your bad tempered boss is the father of the girl you like, debating on the (in)convenience to invite her to a date, you decide to do it anyways, while saying to a friend:
La invito a salir lo mismo, "!y que se cague!"
[I invite her anyways, the hell with it!]