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Skeleton crew

Idiom: skeleton crew; used as a

First Example:
Toby: Are you going to the concert this Saturday?

Claire: No.  I have to work Saturday night.
Toby: That’s too bad – but maybe you can
get off a little early? It’s usually pretty slow on the weekends.
Claire: Because it’s always so slow, Tim
decided to run a skeleton crew. There are only going to be three of us here
manning the phones.
Toby: That’s too bad.  Well, I’ll take lots of pictures for you.
Claire: Thanks.

Meaning: The idiom “skeleton
” is used when a business is operating with the minimum number of
people.  This is usually done during an
emergency or low demand causes there to be limited staff. In the example above,
Claire says she will be working on a skeleton crew because there isn’t enough
demand for a full crew.  “Skeleton crew” is the American
idiom, while British people use the alternative “skeleton staff.” Here is another example of the American

Mary: Wow, the service at that
restaurant was awful!   
William: Well, they were running on a skeleton crew.
Mary: Really?  How do you know?
When you were in the restroom, the
waiter told me. Apparently, the manager fired a server everyone liked, so all
of the servers went on strike. There was only one server for the whole restaurant
tonight, and he had to act as bartender as well.
Mary: Then that explains why it seemed
like he was always running around but everything came out so late.
Exactly. And that’s why I left him a decent tip. I
felt bad for him.

Meaning: In this example, Mary says the service at a restaurant was
slow, and William explains that the restaurant’s normal employees were on
strike, leading to a skeleton crew of only one server.       @LSISB @LSIOC @LSINE @LSILA

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