What does skeleton in closet mean

ett skeleton in wardrobes

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ett skelett i wardrobes (Swedish) [edit]

Idiom [edit]

Word separation:

ett ske · lett i gar · de · ro · ben

Pronunciation:

IPA: [ˈɛ̝tː ske̞ˈlɛ̝tː ɪ ɡaɖəˈroːbən]
Audio samples: -

Meanings:

[1] a corpse in the basement[1]; something unpleasant that one tries to hide[2]; literally: "A skeleton in the locker"

Origin:

Ett skeleton i wardrobes, this term is likely a translation of the English term a skeleton in the cupboard / closet[3] meaning "to have a corpse in the basement"[4] It is believed that the term comes from a collection of stories published by Thomas Roscoe in 1824. One of the stories features a woman whose lover was killed by her husband. The body is kept in a cupboard on the floor and the husband forces the unfaithful person to kiss the skeleton every evening.[5]

Synonyms:

[1] ett lik i loads, ett lik i wardrobes

Examples:

[1] Ett skeleton i wardrobes är gömt, men inte glömt.
A corpse in the basement is hidden but not forgotten.
[1] Den här gången handlar det om att det är valår i år, politikerlöften och politikers skeleton in wardrobes!
This time it is about this year being an election year, about political promises and the corpses in the basement the politician!

Translations [edit]

References and further information:

[1] Swedish Wikipedia article "Lista över svenska idiomatiska uttryck"

Swell:

  1. Hans Schottmann, Rikke Petersson: Dictionary of Swedish phraseology in subject groups. LIT Verlag, Münster 2004, ISBN 3-8258-7957-7, page 416
  2. Hellsing, Hellquist, Hallengren: Bevingat. Albert Bonniers Förlag 2000, "lik", page 212
  3. Hellsing, Hellquist, Hallengren: Bevingat. Albert Bonniers Förlag 2000, "lik", page 212
  4. [1] Babla Translations
  5. Hellsing, Hellquist, Hallengren: Bevingat. Albert Bonniers Förlag 2000, "lik", page 212