среда, 26 октября 2011 г.

A skeleton in your teacher's closet: top 10 "secrecy" idioms and a secret video

Secrets make our lives more fun. Unknown things drive our curiosity and can prompt us either to learn or to gossip. Each language has a number of "secrecy expressions" that we happen to use rather often because, as it turns out, we do keep certain things away from others. So, what expressions are most commonly used in English? Let me share my top 10 with you!

5 expressions on keeping a secret:

  1. "My lips are sealed": use this expression to assure somebody that you're not going to share this secret with anybody else.
  2. "Keep something under wraps": if you keep something under wraps it is a secret that you're not going to share with anybody else. A similar expression is "keep something under one's hat."
  3. "Keep/have a skeleton in one's closet/cupboard": if you keep (or have) a skeleton in your closet (or cupboard) you have a huge secret in your life that you don't want anybody else to know.*
  4. "Take your secret to the grave with you": if you say that it means you will never share this secret with anybody else, not even before you die.
  5. "Keep a low profile": when you keep a low profile you try not to attract much public attention.
5 expressions on revealing a secret:

  1. "Let the cat out of the bag": you say this when the secret has become known to everyone, as in, "oh, I guess I let the cat out of the bag."
  2. "Spill the beans" about something means to tell the secret.
  3. "Truth will out" means that no matter how hard you try to hide your secrets truth cannot be hidden forever.
  4. "Be a blabbermouth": if somebody is called a blabbermouth it means that this person can hardly hold  his/her tongue and always tells on somebody or gossips. 
  5. "to leak a secret": if one leaks some information it means one shares this information with the rest of the world.**
* Somerset Maugham wrote a great novel in 1930 called "Cakes and Ale or a Skeleton in the Cupboard". "Cakes and ale" is another English expression that means "good things in life," as opposed to "bread and water. This is a great read, but will be particularly appreciated by those who like reading "period novels." The language is quite inspiring. For those who love reading and discussing Somerset Maugham's books it might helpful to browse through this group of his readers. For more of Maugham's books online check here.

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** the word "leak" literally means to let out water. A well-known non-profit organization "WikiLeaks"  (see the logo to the right) publishes information submitted from private sources anonymously. 


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Finally, since we're talking about secrets, I thought I'd share one with you! It's literally located in my closet, and today I might spill the beans about it just in case  you were wondering what it was. Here's my video: