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close to (or near) the bone

Definition of close to or near the bone in English:

1(Of a remark) penetrating and accurate to the point of causing discomfort: the headmaster was getting a little too close to the bone for my liking
More example sentences
  • As a fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian, I sometimes find your articles a bit close to the bone, but in fairness you reflect accurately the nature of the Internet.
  • The funny thing about that is that the film is about a man who gets into trouble for writing books that cut too close to the bone, other people's bones in this case.
  • This list can go on and on, and hearing these stories cuts rather close to the bone: suffering is everywhere and also infinite in its variety.
1.1(Of a joke or story) likely to cause offence because near the limit of decency.
Example sentences
  • As a frequent comedy night visitor, I am well used to jokes that are close to the bone and believe I have a liberal attitude to most areas.
  • It won't be to everyone's taste, the humour at times being dark and the jokes occasionally a little close to the bone, but it's funny because it's true.
  • It is during the exchanges that the vitality of the pack can best be savoured, even if some of the jokes run close to the bone, and feel a little obvious and outdated.
See parent entry: bone
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