Hundreds of years ago when English physicians wanted to learn about the human body, it was difficult because there were numerous regulations to follow. Doctors were typically allowed to dissect only one body over the course of their education – and once the dissection had been accomplished, the physicians were reluctant to relinquish their prized skeletons. But it wasn't socially acceptable to keep the skeletons, according to Webb Garrison in a Why You Say It (Grant Press). Consequently, doctors often hid them in a dark corner of a closet where they wouldn't be discovered easily. Eventually the phrase came to mean hidden evidence of any kind.
October 2008 Newsletter