not touch (someone or something) with a ten-foot pole

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not touch (someone or something) with a ten-foot pole

To not do or be involved with something at all; to refuse to get close to something. Although his twin brother absolutely loves sushi, Bobby will not touch it with a 10-foot pole.
See also: not, pole, touch

not touch someone or something with a ten-foot pole

Cliché not to have anything to do with someone or something. (Always negative.) No, I won't hire Fred. I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole. I wouldn't touch that job with a ten-foot pole.
See also: not, pole, touch

not touch with a ten-foot pole

Stay far away from, avoid completely, as in Ronald wouldn't touch raw oysters with a ten-foot pole. This expression dates from the mid-1700s, when it began to replace the earlier not to be handled with a pair of tongs. In the 1800s barge-pole was sometimes substituted for ten-foot pole, but that variant has died out.
See also: not, pole, touch
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