close to/near the bone

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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 ?
It's most painful near the bone [like this man's skull] because the machine vibrates the bone" says Urban.
Pressure ulcers predominantly begin forming below the skin near the bone before progressing through the dermal tissue and eventually breaking the surface of the skin.
In three years time, most of our files will be a lot bigger than they are now and 2Mbps is too near the bone.
To check for doneness, cut into one of the thighs at its thickest point; there should be no redness near the bone.
Knives and forks are too cumbersome to prise out the sweetest meat which invariably lurks near the bone.
He said: 'I admit I'm a bit of a part-time comedian and some of my material is a bit near the bone.
There's plenty of fat to cut out of the state budget before legislators need to go anywhere near the bone.
If you go to America nobody would wear a Nazi uniform because it's too near the bone and not politically correct, but here you get the odd person who's quite happy to stand up and be booed, and it's done in the spirit of Monty Python.
BONE FRACTURES There are two basic types of bone fracture: open or compound, in which the skin is broken and the bone is exposed, or closed fractures, in which the skin near the bone isn't broken.
Parnaby adds: "It'll be a little near the bone with strong language quoted but should be fun.