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nearer the nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat proverbial saying, late 14th century. Usages reflect both the belief that meat close to the bone has the best taste and texture, and the idea that it is valued because it represents the last vestiges of available food.
the nearer the church, the farther from God proverbial saying, early 14th century, sometimes used to indicate a lack of true spirituality where it is most likely to be found.

See also near, nearest.