skeleton


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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

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

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 crew

The bare minimum amount of employees necessary to keep an office, business, service, etc., running at a basic level. We can't have a restaurant that is completely closed during the slow season, so we keep a skeleton crew on board to serve the few customers who decide to come in. The rigs will have a skeleton crew keeping them running until the company finishes handing over its business to the new owners.
See also: crew, skeleton

skeleton in the/(one's) closet

An embarrassing or shameful secret. Primarily heard in US. If you've got a skeleton in the closet, 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 closet.
See also: closet, skeleton

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

skeleton at the feast

One whose pessimistic outlook or behavior dampens the mood at a happy event. Don't invite Chris to your engagement party—he's always so gloomy and will just be a skeleton at the feast.
See also: feast, skeleton

skeleton(s) in the closet

a hidden and shocking secret. You can ask anyone about how reliable I am. I don't mind. I don't have any skeletons in the closet. My uncle was in jail for a day once. That's our family's skeleton in the closet.
See also: closet, skeleton

skeleton in the closet

A shameful secret, as in Both her parents were alcoholics; that was the skeleton in her closet. This metaphoric term alludes to a murder victim long concealed in a closet, possibly based on some true incident that is now forgotten. [Early 1800s]
See also: closet, skeleton

a skeleton in the closet

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

a skeleton in the cupboard

BRITISH
COMMON If someone has a skeleton in the closet or a skeleton in the cupboard, they have a secret that would cause great embarrassment or shame if other people knew about it. But everybody's got vices, haven't they? There's always a skeleton in the closet somewhere. Note: This expression is variable. Show me somebody with no skeletons in their cupboard, and I'll show you a skilful liar.
See also: closet, skeleton

a skeleton in the cupboard

a discreditable or embarrassing fact that someone wishes to keep secret.
A US variant of this expression is a skeleton in the closet .
See also: cupboard, skeleton

a skeleton ˈcrew/ˈstaff/ˈservice

the minimum number of staff necessary to run an organization or service: At weekends we have a skeleton staff to deal with emergencies.
See also: crew, service, skeleton, staff

a skeleton in the ˈcupboard/ˈcloset

something shocking, embarrassing, etc. that has happened to you or your family in the past that you want to keep secret: The new presidential candidate is certainly popular, but does he have any skeletons in the closet?

skeleton in (one's) closet

A source of shame or disgrace, as in a family, that is kept secret.
See also: closet, skeleton

skeleton in the closet, the

A shameful secret. This term likens a family secret to a murder victim hidden away in a closet or cupboard. If it ever was based on such an incident, the history has been lost. In any event, the metaphor became current in the early nineteenth century. Thackeray used it in several novels, as did Dickens, George Meredith, and other nineteenth-century British writers, and it remains current.
See also: skeleton

skeleton in the closet

A hidden shame. As if hiding a murder victim or another object that would cause great distress to the hider if found, to have a skeleton in the closet is to have a secret of any sort that you don't want revealed.
See also: closet, skeleton
References in periodicals archive ?
He said the skeleton was later sent to Seberang Jaya Hospital's Forensic Department for further action.
Rwanda Investigation Bureau and police are investigating the cause of the person's death and how the skeleton ended up here,' he said.
The color of the substrate will be glossy, while the skeleton will be painted with ink
Caloocan chief investigator Police Inspector Joe Mar Ronquillo yesterday said they are awaiting the DNA test on the skeleton to determine if the remains belong to a male or female.
Generally, the animation of human 3D characters is found in the articulated shape of the model, represented as a skeleton. To identify, the exact location of skeleton joints is a well study problem in computer animation.
Sami Campagnano shared images of the skeletons on her neighbor's front lawn via Twitter on Tuesday, Oct.
Police suspect that the skeleton belonged to an abducted child kidnapped from Sohrab Goth area last month.
An eyewitness told Pakistan Today that the skeleton was found in a water tank that has been dysfunctional for the past 15 years.
The remains of human skeletons and mixed materialswere discoveredat a depth of 40 centimetersduring the excavationsat Nargizava necropolis.
Yun dominated the 2017-18 Skeleton World Cup season and made a name for himself as one of the top skeleton sliders, racking up five gold and two silver medals prior to the PyeongChang Olympics.
That situation recently changed, however, thanks to the significant finding of paleontologist Andrej eransky from Comenius University and others."I received information from the cave administration of Demrnovska dolina that that a small skeleton was located in the ceiling of one of the inaccessible caves," explained Andrej eransky, as quoted from the press release.
Whistler, Canada, November 12, 2017 --(PR.com)-- As Official Floral Partner to Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton, Bloomex will be providing all florals for the BMW IBSF World Cup being hosted in Whistler, BC on November 24-25.
Islamabad -- The Police has recovered human skeleton near the residence of federal minister for CAAD Dr.
In 1987, a blue whale washed ashore in PEI and in 2007, her skeleton was transported 6,000 kilometres and reassembled for display at the new Beaty Biodiversity Museum in BC.
THE newest exhibit at the Natural History Museum is a skeleton of a blue whale, although it's not clear how they know it was blue if it's just bones now.