cupboard


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Related to cupboard: cupboard love, cabinet, stove, IKEA

cupboard is bare

1. Literally, there is no or very little food in the house. Often pluralized. I wish I had something to offer you to eat, but we haven't done our grocery shopping this week, and I'm afraid the cupboards are bare.
2. By extension, resources—especially money—are very tight or nonexistent. Often pluralized. The government has promised to help alleviate the strain on those out of work, but I don't know how it will accomplish that when its own cupboards are bare. The school district's cupboard is bare after federal funding was cut by 20%.
See also: bare, cupboard

have (a) skeleton(s) in (one's)/the cupboard

To have (an) embarrassing, unpleasant, damaging, or incriminating secret(s) from one's past. Primarily heard in UK. Even the most seemingly perfect people have some pretty shocking skeletons in their cupboards. She has a skeleton in her cupboard that could ruin her chance at being elected if the press were to find out about it. My agoraphobia has always been something of a skeleton in the cupboard for me.
See also: cupboard, have

skeleton in (the/one's) cupboard

An embarrassing or shameful secret. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. If you've got a skeleton in the cupboard, it will probably be exposed during this campaign. He didn't believe me when I said that I didn't have any skeletons in my cupboard.
See also: cupboard, skeleton

cupboard love

  (British & Australian)
love that you give in order to get something from someone I suspected all along it was just cupboard love, and what she really liked about him was his car.
See also: cupboard, love

a skeleton in the/your cupboard

  (British & Australian) also a skeleton in the/your closet (American)
an embarrassing secret If you want to be a successful politician, you can't afford to have too many skeletons in your cupboard.
See also: cupboard, skeleton

cupboard is bare, the

The desired resources are not available, as in The schools are asking for a budget increase but the cupboard is bare. This metaphoric expression may have come from the nursery rhyme: "Old Mother Hubbard, went to the cupboard, to fetch her poor dog a bone, And when she went there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none" (Sarah Catherine Martin, The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard, 1805).
See also: cupboard
References in classic literature ?
They poked under the beds with Ribby's umbrella, and they rummaged in cupboards.
Poyser gave her approbation to the scheme of the movable kitchen cupboard, which was to be capable of containing grocery, pickles, crockery, and house-linen in the utmost compactness without confusion.
She had got one of the cupboards open, and stood with her back to him, smoothing down a sheet of brown paper on one of the shelves, and whispering to herself "So, so
I had just taken the paper; and was locking the cupboard, when the young man seized me.
Turning to the lower division of the cupboard, I found more costly curiosities in the shape of ivory carvings from Japan and specimens of rare silk from China.
One key unlocked all the velvet cupboards containing these treasures--a curious key carved from a single blood-red ruby--and this was fastened to a strong but slender chain which the Princess wore around her left wrist.
He sighs over the contemplation of its poverty, takes a bit of chalk from one of the cupboard shelves, and pauses with it in his hand, uncertain what addition to make to the account.
Mrs Verloc turned slowly towards the cupboard, saying with deliberation:
They looked under the mat; they looked under all the carpets; they looked in all the cupboards and drawers and lockers--in the big chests in the ship's dining-room; they looked everywhere.
First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs.
Yes, yes, father, tell me where it is," and he opened two or three cupboards.
The door of one of the cupboards in the sideboard was half open.
There were bundles of labels, cupboards, and drawers with compartments, and wire guards for the cupboards, to allow free access to the air whilst keeping out slugs, mice, dormice, and rats, all of them very curious fanciers of tulips at two thousand francs a bulb.
As he did not, however, outwardly express any such disgust, it would be an ill office in us to pay a visit to the inmost recesses of his mind, as some scandalous people search into the most secret affairs of their friends, and often pry into their closets and cupboards, only to discover their poverty and meanness to the world.
There were no proper cupboards for their clothes; what cupboards there were either would not close at all, or burst open whenever anyone passed by them.