skeleton(s) in the/your cupboard

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - skeleton in the cupboard

"skeleton(s) in the/your cupboard"

an event in a person's past or something about a person's family that is embarrassing and that a person would prefer to keep secret


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - skeleton in the cupboard

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Have you heard that the company has just been approved for a high-level Defense Department government contract?

Colleague 2: That could be trouble for me. It means that all employees will need government security clearance and I have a skeleton in my cupboard.

Colleague 1: What is that?

Colleague 2: I was arrested for grand theft auto when I was a teenager and it is still on my record.

Colleague 1: That will cause you trouble for sure.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - skeleton in the cupboard

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Peter has asked me to marry him.

Friend 2: And what did you say?

Friend 1: I told him that I had to think about it for a while. The thing is that I know very little about Peter's family. I have always wondered why Peter has never really shared much about his family. Do you know that I have never met anyone in his family except his sister.

Friend 2: There must be some skeletons in his family's cupboard if he is being so secretive about them. I wonder what shameful behavior they have exhibited. What have they done that is so embarrassing?

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skeleton(s) in the/your cupboard - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   121   click for frequency by country

skeleton(s) in the/your cupboard - Gerund Form:

Having a lot of skeletons in his cupboard, he did not like to talk about his past.

skeleton(s) in the/your cupboard - Examples:

1)  We have shared some real personal experiences and all the usual skeletons in the cupboard

2)  ... only of individual priests, but of church hierarchy. Those who seek to keep skeletons in the cupboard should be deeply ashamed of themselves. We need a spotlight shined ...

3)  But a fundamentally ethical society and its government won't have very many ghastly skeletons in the cupboard. And you would want those exposed and cleaned out anyway.

4)  ... that bringing a child into our lives would force me to face some previously ignored skeletons in the cupboard of my own childhood.

5)  I also learned the hard way by ignoring signs with boyfriends who had serious skeletons in the cupboard that eventually came out in hurtful and destructive ways.

6)  Investors don't like to invest in companies where there are skeletons in the cupboard.

7)  ... you know; the murky waters, the dirty little secrets and the proverbial skeletons in the cupboard.

8)  It's worth putting any site's name into Google just to check for skeletons in the cupboard. In most cases you won't find anything, ...

9)  ... is peaceful because of the honesty I have cultivated within myself: there are no skeletons in the cupboard.

10)  I am pretty sure the authority will find more skeletons in the cupboard if they dig deeper into the clandestine activities of this so-called NGO.

11)  ... at first but, as time goes on, people will definitely learn of the skeletons in his cupboard and what he's hiding as a person.

12)  ... is a con man. He just doesn't have a few skeletons in his cupboard - he has a whole army of them.

13)  There's no dirt to dig on Romney. None. No skeletons in his cupboard.

14)  ... scary you may just frighten off potential employers. Skeletons -- do you have skeletons in your cupboard? If you are applying for security cleared jobs or even roles ...

15)  ... is doing this if it has nothing to hide. If you have no skeletons in your cupboard, then there is nothing to fear.

16)  Volunteer. Forgive, but never forget. Don't have skeletons in your cupboard. Keep as few secrets as reasonably possible.

17)  You can be sure that if you have any skeletons in your cupboard, the prosecutors will do everything they can to bring it out.

18)  The Nobel Committee thoroughly investigated his background, and made sure he had no skeleton in the cupboard before awarding him the Prize. 

19)  A skeleton in the cupboard meaning a secret source of shame, potentially ruinous if ...

20)  Opening up to people doesn't mean releasing every skeleton in the cupboard. What it means is finding people around you to trust enough ...