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Skeleton(s) in one's closet

Idiom: skeleton(s) in one’s closet
; used as a noun

First Example:

Michael: Why is Oscar so upset?

Pam: You didn’t hear?  Everyone found out that his brother is in
prison, and now he’s really embarrassed.                

Michael: Why? It’s not like he’s the one in

Pam: True, but some people don’t like
others to know about their families’ secrets. 
And no one likes having the skeletons
in their closet

Michael: That’s true. I would hate it if
everyone was talking about some deep, dark secret in my family.

Pam: Like what?

Michael: Well, like… Wait, I’m not gonna
tell you!

Meaning: The idiom “skeleton(s)
in one’s closet
” is used as a noun to refer to the embarrassing or
shocking secrets that people have. The skeletons
in the idiom refer to the secrets themselves, and the closet refers to keeping
them “in the dark.” “Skeleton’s in one’s closet” is the American idiom while British and Australian people use the alternative “skeleton(s) in one’s cupboard.” Here is another example of the
American version:

Adviser: So, Mrs. Smith, before you run for
office, I need to know. Do you have any skeletons
in your closet
?  Any affairs or other
dirty little secrets?   
Politician: Not that I can think of.
Adviser: You don’t have any past criminal
behavior – any laws broken that might come out?
Politician: Like speeding tickets?
Adviser: No, no one cares about minor things
like that. I’m talking about major things like drinking and driving, or a hit
and run.
Nope, can’t think of anything like
Adviser: Good.  Now let’s discuss marketing…

Meaning: In this example, the adviser is asking if the politician
has any skeletons in her closet. This idiom is commonly used when discussing the
secrets of politicians and other public figures. The adviser even clarifies that minor issues,
like speeding tickets, aren’t really bad enough to be considered a skeleton in one’s closet.       @LSISB @LSIOC @LSINE @LSILA


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