Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Near,

 Neapol’itan.Near Side and Off Side. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Near,
 
meaning mean, is rather a curious play on the word close (closefisted). What is “close by” is near   1
 


 Neapol’itan.Near Side and Off Side. 

 
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