close to the bone

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Related to close to the bone: bone to pick

close to the bone

Very close to the truth in a hurtful way. Of course I'm mad—dad's remarks about how I'm wasting my life were close to the bone.
See also: bone, close

close to the bone

If a remark or piece of writing is close to the bone, it is about things that are true but which make people uncomfortable or offended. Penny said `Let's talk about Christina.' But for Buck, this was getting dangerously close to the bone. This isn't strictly satire, it's far too close to the bone to be funny. Note: You can also say that a remark or a piece of writing is near to the bone. `We'd better end here because this is getting...' She did not finish the sentence, but I guess she was going to say `too near to the bone'. Compare with near the knuckle.
See also: bone, close

close to (or near) the bone

1 (of a remark) penetrating and accurate to the point of causing hurt or discomfort. 2 (of a joke or story) likely to cause offence because near the limit of decency.
See also: bone, close

close to/near the ˈbone

(informal) likely to offend or upset somebody because, for example, a remark contains elements of truth: Some of the things she said to him about his failure to find work were a bit close to the bone.
See also: bone, close, near
References in periodicals archive ?
At 42, this recovering alcoholic has a perspective that comes only from a life lived hard and close to the bone.
Stewart's raffish history cuts close to the bone and suggests to this reader that today's textbooks may be approaching the end of their run.
Stephen's insight, interpretation, and proclamation were so close to the bone that his hearers could not stand it.
Nonetheless, his writing is honest, close to the bone, upsetting and thought provoking, without the usual polite sugar coating we often use in discussing racism in America.
It was created because it's cheaper to make food that way, and most people live close to the bone.
CEOs also need someone to talk with, as many of his of her problems, hopes and fears cannot be discussed with employees as they cut too close to the bone.
Perhaps even more so, it is a question close to the bone for those who are called to proclaim the good news of God in Jesus Christ in the messy, mundane, and everyday places and spaces where people live and Christian life and ministry happen.
I assume from his writing style that he does not expect to be taken seriously but, nonetheless, he is biting the hand that feeds him and his teeth are going pretty close to the bone.
What pervades Southern Road (1932), Brown's most accomplished volume of work, is a spirit of black life lived materially close to the bone.
After piercing through the layer of fat, the muscle tissue layer underneath was tender enough, but seemed to be coarser and, because the pig was so big, was a little pink close to the bone.
COMEDY The hilariously close to the bone comedy concludes.
conduct at Barnsley and say some stuff, some banter, although never go over the line, but sometimes it was a bit close to the bone and "There was no real code of conduct at Barnsley and I would say some stuff, some banter, although never go over the line, but sometimes it was a bit close to the bone and I wouldn't get away with it here, so it's probably the best thing I've done.