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