Definition of keep (or sleep in) a whole skin in English:

keep (or sleep in) a whole skin

phrase

archaic
  • Escape being wounded or injured.

    ‘if he means to keep a whole skin on his bones, I recommend him not to come back in a hurry’
    • ‘It is agreeable to keep a whole skin; but the skin still remains an organ sensitive to the atmosphere.’
    • ‘But were concerned rather in keeping a whole skin by parlaying or by spilling cowardly tears to excite pity.’
    • ‘For if he wanted to be safe, and considered it his first object to sleep in a whole skin, it had been his best way not to have stirred from home.’
    • ‘There is defeat, even in the rest he wins, to the man who, that he may keep a whole skin, turns and runs from the battle.’