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Last updated at 12:20 GMT, Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The bare bones

Skeletons in the Sculpture Park, Chelsea Flower Show, London

Skeletons at the Sculpture Park during preparations for the Chelsea Flower Show in London. Photo: Lewis Whyld / PA Wire

Today's Phrase

The bare bones of something are the basics, the essential parts of it.


The house was stripped to the bare bones after the tornado. All you could see were the walls and parts of the roof.

So far, you've only given me the bare bones of what happened. I need more details to fill the report form out properly.

Take note

When you say something is close to the bone, it means it is very personal or something that makes someone feel uncomfortable because it is the truth.


You shouldn't talk about marriage when Mary is around. It's too close to the bone. She has just left her husband.

Interesting fact

The adult human skeleton is made of 206 bones. The thighbone, called the femur, is the longest, largest and strongest bone in the body. Simple bone fractures (breaks) usually take about 6-8 weeks to heal, although larger or older bones take longer.

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