Burst one’s bubble and pop one’s bubble

Burst one’s bubble and pop one’s bubble are idioms that have been in use at least since the early twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idioms burst one’s bubble and pop one’s bubble, where they came from, and some examples of their use in sentences.

To burst one’s bubble and to pop one’s bubble means to impart information that will disappoint the one who hears it, to disillusion someone. The expressions burst one’s bubble and pop one’s bubble came into use in the early twentieth century and are most probably related to the invention of bubble gum. Bubble gum was invented in 1928 by Walter Diemer, a young accountant who worked for Fleer Chewing Gum Company. The gum was marketed as Dubble Bubble gum; the company is still in business today and Dubble Bubble gum is still manufactured. The idioms burst one’s bubble and pop one’s bubble refer to popping a bubblegum bubble that a child is blowing with his mouth. The emotions a child feels when someone pops his bubblegum bubble are sadness and disappointment. The idiom burst one’s bubble is used much more often than the expression pop one’s bubble. Related phrases are bursts one’s bubble, busting one’s bubble, pops one’s bubble, popped one’s bubble, popping one’s bubble.

Examples

Sorry if I burst your bubble there — I would have thought dozens of franchise relocations and new-stadium blackmail schemes would have tipped you off by now. (The Mercury News)

If you had hopes of finding E.T. anytime soon, one astronomer is about to burst your bubble. (The New York Post)

But a friend, trying to be helpful, burst my bubble with a pragmatic question: “Does a soft pumpkin border truly impart the same satisfaction as a flaky, buttery crust?” (The Pueblo Chieftan)

If you think this year is a one-off, I’m here to pop your bubble. (The Independent)