close to home

Idioms & Phrases

close to home

Also, where one lives. Affecting one intimately and personally, as in That description of orphans really was too close to home, or The teacher's criticisms of her work got her where she lives. The noun home here means "the heart of something," a usage dating from the late 1800s; the variant was first recorded in 1860. Both of these colloquialisms are sometimes preceded by hit, that is, something is said to hit close to home or hit one where one lives, as in That remark about their marriage hit close to home. Also see too close for comfort (to home).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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