Skeleton in the closet or skeleton in the cupboard is a colloquial phrase and idiom used to describe an undisclosed fact about someone which, if revealed, would have a negative impact on perceptions of the person; such as literally having harbored corpses (or cadavers) in the concealed portions of one's abode for period of time long enough for them to decompose into nothing more than bones, if not a fact far more or far less objectionable in norm or mos. "Cupboard" is used in British English instead of the American English word "closet". It is known to have been used as a phrase, at least as early as November 1816, in the monthly British journal The Eclectic Review, page 468. It is listed in both the Oxford English Dictionary, and Webster's Dictionary, under the word "skeleton". The "Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary" lists it under this but also as a separate idiom. In the most derisive of usage; murder, or significant culpability in a years-old disappearance or non-understood event (a mystery), may be implied by the phrase.