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 ?
What pervades Southern Road (1932), Brown's most accomplished volume of work, is a spirit of black life lived materially close to the bone.
COUNTRYSIDE: I'm sure some of you feel that homesteading, often living close to the bone, leaves little room for mistakes.
A night of brilliant banter ensued, albeit a lot of it close to the bone at times.
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.
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.
Stephen's insight, interpretation, and proclamation were so close to the bone that his hearers could not stand it.
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.
Baseotto's response was too close to the bone for the government, however, as it recalled the "flights of death" during the 1976-83 military dictatorship, when suspected dissidents were dropped from airplanes into the sea, sometimes with priests present giving blessing.
Some of the songs and chants are a bit close to the bone, but in the old days it was known as banter.
Indeed, Tuttle's version of minimalism, first conceived as a corrective to Minimalism proper (that of Robert Morris in 1964, or of Donald Judd the following year) can cut dangerously close to the bone.
Now the question is, how close to the bone can suppliers go?