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best-kept secret

A certain aspect, fact, location, or activity, usually touristic or commercial in nature, that is or purports to be not well known to the public but deserving of praise or attention. The newspaper called the restaurant the city's best-kept secret. While everyone wants to visit the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula is really one of Ireland's best-kept secrets.
See also: secret

deep, dark secret

A piece of information that is extremely private and confidential, usually implied to be embarrassing, incriminating, or shameful. I've carried my fear of clowns as a deep, dark secret for many years now. Many saw her as a perfect candidate, but no one could have known she had a deep, dark secret from her past.
See also: dark, secret

carry a secret to the grave

 and carry a secret to one's grave
Fig. to never reveal a secret, even to the day of one's death. John carried our secret to his grave. Trust me, I will carry your secret to the grave!
See also: carry, grave, secret

Could you keep a secret?

 and Can you keep a secret?
I am going to tell you something that I hope you will keep a secret. (Also used with can in place of could.) Tom: Could you keep a secret? Mary: Sure. Tom: Don't tell anybody, but I'm going to be a daddy. Sue: Can you keep a secret? Alice: Of course. Sue: We're moving to Atlanta.
See also: could, keep

in secret

secretly. They planned in secret to blow up the bridge. I will tell her in secret so no one else will hear.
See also: secret

keep a secret

to know a secret and not tell anyone. Please keep our little secret private. Do you know how to keep a secret?
See also: keep, secret

make a secret of something

to act as if something were a secret. I'm not making a secret of it. lam quitting this job. Mary made a secret of her intentions.
See also: make, of, secret

open secret

something that is supposed to be known only by a few people but is known in fact to a great many people. Their engagement is an open secret. Only their friends are supposed to know, but in fact, the whole town knows. It's an open secret that Max is looking for a new job.
See also: open, secret

trade secret

1. Lit. a secret way of making or selling a product; a business secret. The exact formula of the soft drink is a trade secret.
2. Fig. any secret method. (Jocular.) A: How do you manage to sell so many of these each month? B: It's a trade secret.
See also: secret, trade

Your secret is safe with me.

I will not tell your secret to anyone. Don't worry. I won't tell. Your secret's safe with me. Your secret is safe with me. I will carry it to my grave.
See also: safe, secret

in secret

Unknown to others, privately. For example, They met in secret, or, as Shakespeare put it in Love's Labour's Lost (5:2): "One word in secret." [Second half of 1400s]
See also: secret

open secret

Something that is supposedly clandestine but is in fact widely known, as in It's an open secret that both their children are adopted. This expression originated as the title of a Spanish play by Calderón, El Secreto a Voces ("The Noisy Secret"), which was translated by Carlo Gozzi into Italian as Il pubblico secreto (1769). In English the term came into general use during the 1800s.
See also: open, secret

in secret

Without others knowing.
See also: secret
References in classic literature ?
From that hour of evil omen until the present, it may be,--though we know not the secret of his heart,--but it may be that no wearier and sadder man had ever sunk into the chair than this same Judge Pyncheon, whom we have just beheld so immitigably hard and resolute.
I know not Lethe nor Nepenthe," remarked he; "but I have learned many new secrets in the wilderness, and here is one of them -- a recipe that an Indian taught me, in requital of some lessons of my own, that were as old as Paracelsus.
What the disguise of her lover would be, Julia could not imagine--probably, that of a wandering harper: but then she remembered that there were no harpers in America, and the very singularity might betray his secret.
There are secrets which kill those who discover them.
There were many keys upon the oval ring, but the fair Martian maid quickly selected that which sprung the great lock at her waist, and freed she hurried toward the secret panel.
I have, in fact, discovered a secret, of a nature to change the interests of the king of France.
Butteridge, and the extraordinary terms he demanded for the secret of his machine.
Without the great secret this maleless race must even-tually become extinct.
Every secret connected with our present and future plans practically passes through my hands, yet no one watches me.
Peepholes were pierced in the wall of each room, and we were never certain, while at work, whose eye was observing, or whose ear was listening in secret.
Will you promise to keep what I tell you a secret from every living creature?
In order to get any good of my outlay for your invention, I must make a war, and do so as soon as I can arm my troops - before your secret is discovered by foreign nations.
I was thinking about a nice little secret I know, and couldn't help smiling.
Until the prompt and secret action of the Fiscal took him by surprise, the idea of his being charged with the murder of his wife was an idea which we know, from his own statement, had never even entered his mind.
Thousands of secret agents were rushed to the devoted city.