this side of...

this side of

1. Just short or shy of; nearly or verging on. While the governor's actions are this side of criminal, voters are demanding he nevertheless resign in the wake of the scandal.
2. Immediately before or prior (a given time, date, age, etc.). It will be this side of midnight by the time we get home. The mother of two was just this side of thirty when she was killed by cancer.
See also: of, side, this

this side of...

before a particular time, event, age, etc: They aren’t likely to arrive this side of midnight.
See also: side, this