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新概念英语第三册-Lesson 24(词汇)高中

网络 | 2014-03-31

  A skeleton in the cupboard “家丑”

  We often read in novels how a seemingly respectable person or family has some terrible secret which has been concealed from strangers for years. The English language possesses a vivid saying to describe this sort of situation. The terrible secret is called 'a skeleton in the cupboard '. At some dramatic moment in the story the terrible secret becomes known and a reputation is ruined. The reader's hair stands on end when he reads in the final pages of the novel that the heroine, a dear old lady who had always been so kind to everybody, had, in her youth, poisoned every one of her five husbands.

  It is all very well for such things to occur in fiction. To varying degrees, we all have secrets which we do not want even our closest friends to learn, but few of us have skeletons in the cupboard. The only person I know who has a skeleton in the cupboard is George Carlton, and he is very proud of the fact. George studied medicine in his youth. Instead of becoming a doctor, however, he became a successful writer of detective stories. I once spent an uncomfortable weekend which I shall never forget at his house. George showed me to the guestroom which, he said, was rarely used. He told me to unpack my things and then come down to dinner. After I had stacked my shirts and underclothes in two empty drawers, I decided to hang one of the two suits I had brought with me in the cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of it petrified. A skeleton was dangling before my eyes. The sudden movement of the door made it sway slightly and it gave me the impression that it was about to leap out at me. Dropping my suit, I dashed downstairs to tell George. This was worse than 'a terrible secret'; this was a real skeleton ! But George was unsympathetic. 'Oh, that,' he said with a smile as if he were talking about an old friend. 'That's Sebastian. You forget that I was a medical student once upon a time.'

  【New words and expressions】 生词和短语

  skeleton n. 骷髅

  seemingly adv. 表面上地

  respectable adj. 体面的,雅观的

  conceal v. 隐藏,隐瞒

  vivid adj. 生动的

  dramatic adj. 令人激动的,扣人心弦的

  ruin v. 毁坏

  heroine n. 女主人公

  fiction n. 小说

  varying adj. 不同的

  medicine n. 医学

  guestroom n. (家庭中的)来客住房

  unpack vt. (从箱中)取出

  stack adj. (整齐地)堆放,排放

  underclothes n. 内衣

  drawer n. 抽屉

  petrify v. 使惊呆

  dangle v. 悬挂

  sway v. 摇摆

  unsympathetic adj. 不表同情的,无动于衷的

  medical adj. 医学的


  1. skeleton n. 骷髅


  a skeleton in the cupboard(英)

  =a skeleton in the closet(美)

  =a family skeleton 家丑

  g:It’s time to bring a family skeleton out of the cupboard。

  Eg:Every family has a skeleton in the cupboard.家家有本难念的经。

  skeleton key 万能钥匙

  a walking skeleton 骨瘦如柴的人/reduced to a skeleton 瘦的皮包骨

  He has nothing to eat for a couple of days so he has been reduced to a skeleton.


  Don’t wash your dirty linen(内衣).别自爆其丑

  2. respectable adj.体面的,恰当的,受人尊敬的


  He is the most respectable man.


  The ② young man respects the ③ old man.

  ①respecting prep.关于(书面语)

  ②respectful(to/towards sb.)adj.尊重他人的


  ④respective 各自的

  A respectable person is respectful to others.受人尊敬的人也会尊敬别人的。

  Respecting your salary, we shall come to a decision.关于你的薪水,我们稍后会做出决定。

  The classes went to their respective rooms. 同学们回到了各自的房间。

  3. conceal v. 隐藏,隐瞒(hide, 比hide更加正式,语气强烈)


  Eg:He concealed the fact that he was married.

  conceal sth. from sb.

  Eg.: He concealed his disappointment from his friends.

  He tried to conceal in a drawer. 藏在抽屉里的录音机。

  翻译:当这位妈妈进来的时候,这位小女孩藏在了窗帘的后面。(hide? conceal?)

  When the mother came in , the little girl hid behind the curtain.

  4. vivid adj.栩栩如生的,活泼的,生动的


  a. bright and strong : vivid blue碧蓝色

  b. creating ideas,ect in a lively way:

  Eg: He is vivid with life.

  c. producing strong clear pictures in mind:

  Eg:The English language possesses a vivid saying to describe this sort of situation.

  比较级:more vivid

  最高级:most vivid






  ├lively /ai/ 鲜活的,生动的


  live broadcasting现场广播


  5. dramatic adj.戏剧的,扣人心弦的


  The dramatic thing is still vivid in his mind.

  Her opening words were dramatic. 她的开场白十分动听。


  drastic:having strong effect; very serious

  Drastic measures will have to be taken to restore order.

  a drastic shortage of food

  6. fiction (集体名词)小说


  novel 某一部具体的小说

  Eg: We often read in novels how a poor man succeeded in getting rich.


  ┌detective story侦探小说






  7. impression印象


  I was deeply impressed by your perfect performance.很深印象

  It gave me an impression that the guy is kind to everybody.表示给我一种印象,实际并非

  leave sb. an impression留下真实的印象

  He always lives under the impression that he is a saint(圣徒).

  8. petrify =shock ,dumbfound 使惊呆

  At the news ,I was petrified.听到这个消息,我目瞪口呆。

  9. Don’t keep me dangling.别吊我胃口

  10. ┌guesthouse宾馆



  └Holiday Inn假日酒店

  12. ┌underwear内衣




  Multiple choice questions

  1. I was always afraid of something _____ out at me from behind the door.

  A. leaping B. running C. walking

  2. This _______ respectable lady turned out to be a murderer who had, in her youth, poisoned every one of her three husbands.

  A. superficial B. surface C. seemingly

  3. The baby ______ to the music in a funny way.

  A. changed B. swayed C. shook

  4. The Senator’s scandalous affair with the actress ______ not only his reputation but also his political prospects.

  A. raided B. ruined C. stopped

  5. She was so scared by the strange sound from the cave that her blood _____ for a moment.

  A. ran cold B. frozen C. stood on end

  Translate the following sentences into English.

  1. 她在这部戏里面扮演医生的角色。

  2. 使我们非常不快的是,她忘记了我们的誓言。

  3. 一想到那次可怕的经历,他就害怕。

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