pole

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Related to poles: magnetic poles, North and South Poles

at opposite poles

At or holding two completely opposite positions, opinions, or viewpoints, as between two people or two groups of people. Refers to the North and South Pole, which lie diametrically opposite each other along the Earth's axis of rotation. The two parties of the government are at opposite poles on so many issues, it's a wonder anything is accomplished at all! Steve and I are just at opposite poles about the meaning of this poem.
See also: opposite, pole

not touch (someone or something) with a barge pole

To not want to become in any way involved in or with something or someone. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Ever since the tax scandal in our last company, employers won't touch us with a barge pole. Get that cocaine away from me, I wouldn't touch that with a barge pole!
See also: barge, not, pole, touch

be up the pole

To be pregnant. You two have only been married for a couple of months, I can't believe you're up the pole already!
See also: pole, up

smoke pole

A handgun. After he pulled a smoke pole on me, I gave him all my money.
See also: pole, smoke

the longest pole knocks the persimmon

Success comes easily to those who have the best resources or means to obtain it. Primarily heard in US. Of course the daughter of a millionaire would get into that prestigious school. The longest pole knocks the persimmon, after all.
See also: knock, long, persimmon, pole

be in pole position

To be ideally positioned for success. The phrase comes from racing, in which the starting position at the inside of the front row (the "pole position") is thought to improve one's chance of winning. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. She is in pole position to win the scholarship, thanks to all of her extracurricular activities.
See also: pole, position

be poles apart

To be very different in behavior or views; to be in opposition. Unfortunately, the two sides are still poles apart in their negotiations. My sister and I are very close now, but we were poles apart growing up and fought all the time.
See also: apart, pole

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

I wouldn't touch (something or someone) with a barge pole

I do not want to become in any way involved in or with something or someone. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Get that cocaine away from me, I wouldn't touch that junk with a barge pole! You might think John is attractive, but I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole. He seems like a creep.
See also: barge, pole, touch

low man on the totem pole

The person (not necessarily a man) with the least amount of experience, authority, and/or influence in a social or corporate hierarchy. It can be a little daunting going from being a senior in high school to low man on the totem pole again as a college freshman. I know I'll be low man on the totem pole with this internship, but it will at least give me a place to start in my career!
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

high man on the totem pole

Fig. the person at the top of the hierarchy; the person in charge of an organization. I don't want to talk to a vice president. I demand to talk to the high man on the totem pole. Who's in charge around here? Who's high man on the totem pole?
See also: high, man, on, pole, totem

I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole.

Cliché I would not have anything to do with it under any circumstances. (Said about something you think is untrustworthy, as in the first example, or in response to a remark that seems to invite a nasty reply, as in the second example. The British version is "I would not touch it with a bargepole.") Jill: This advertisement says I can buy land in Florida for a small investment. Do you think I should? Jane: I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Jane: Can you believe this? Jill said she thinks I'm bossy. You don't think I'm bossy, do you? Mary: I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole.
See also: pole, touch

low man on the totem pole

Fig. the least important or lowest-ranking person of a group. I was the last to find out because I'm low man on the totem pole. I can't be of any help. I'm low man on the totem pole.
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

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

*poles apart

very different; far from coming to an agreement. (Alludes to the distance between the north and south poles. *Typically: be ~; become ~; grow ~.) Mr. and Mrs. Jones don't get along well. They are poles apart. They'll never sign the contract because they are poles apart.
See also: apart, pole

up the pole

Fig. intoxicated. You sound a little up the pole. Why don't you call back when you're sober? She's up the pole and shouldn't drive.
See also: pole, up

wouldn't touch someone or something with a ten-foot pole

Cliché would not be involved with something under any circumstances. I know about the piece of vacant land for sale on Maple Street. I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole because there used to be a gas station there and the soil is polluted. Tom said he wouldn't touch Sally with a ten-foot pole.
See also: pole, touch

not touch something with a ten-foot pole

to not want to become involved with something If I were you, I wouldn't touch that job with a ten-foot pole.
Usage notes: often used as a warning
See also: not, pole, touch

low on the totem pole

least important He's the low man on the totem pole here. AIDS deaths are low on the totem pole compared with cancer and heart disease.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of totem pole (a wooden pole with images of people and animals cut or painted on it)
See also: low, on, pole, totem

the greasy pole

  (British & Australian)
the attempt to improve your position at work His ascent up the greasy pole of academic advancement was remarkably quick.
See also: greasy, pole

the low man on the totem pole

  (American)
someone who has the least important position in an organization He started as the low man on the totem pole and worked his way up to be manager.
See lay low, lie low
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

be in pole position

  (British & Australian)
to be in the best position to win a competition
Usage notes: In motor racing, pole position is the best place a car can start from.
(often + to do sth) United are in pole position to win the championship this year.
See also: pole, position

be poles apart

if two people or things are poles apart, they are complete opposites My sister and I are poles apart in personality. Our political views are poles apart.
See also: apart, pole

I wouldn't touch somebody/something with a barge pole.

  (British & Australian informal) also I wouldn't touch somebody/something with a ten-foot pole (American & Australian informal)
something that you say which means that you think someone or something is so bad that you do not want to be involved with them in any way If I were you, I wouldn't touch that property with a barge pole.
See also: barge, pole, touch

low man on the totem pole

Low in rank, least important person, as in I just joined the board so I'm low man on the totem pole. This slangy expression is thought to have been invented by the American comedian Fred Allen about 1940 and caught on despite its lack of application to a genuine totem pole.
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

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

poles apart

In complete opposition, as in The two brothers were poles apart in nearly all their views. This expression alludes to the two extremities of the earth's axis, the North and South poles. [Early 1900s]
See also: apart, pole

half up the pole

mod. alcohol intoxicated; tipsy. She drank till she was half up the pole.
See also: half, pole, up

pole dancer

n. a woman, thought of as a stripper, who performs erotic dances around a metal pole, onstage, exploiting the pole’s phallic form. Jed swears that he has never seen an inept pole dancer.
See also: dancer, pole

pole dancing

n. sexually stimulating erotic dancing and writhing around a metal pole, onstage, before a largely male audience. I didn’t have the body for a career in pole dancing, so I became a house painter.
See also: dance, pole

up the pole

mod. alcohol intoxicated. You sound a little up the pole. Why don’t you call back when you’re sober?
See also: pole, up

wouldn’t touch someone/something with a ten-foot pole

tv. would not get involved with someone or something. Forget it. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.
See also: pole, touch
References in classic literature ?
I explained the matter to them when I got nearer, and they caught me and lent me a pole.
You never knew what was going to happen when he put the pole in; he evidently did not know himself.
They let him down and began to urge the raft toward the shore by means of the pole.
nearer the pole, has, according to Mackenzie, fifteen land-birds.
I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seas which surround the pole.
Somebody had thrust into Barnaby's hands when he came out into the street, his precious flag; which, being now rolled up and tied round the pole, looked like a giant quarter-staff as he grasped it firmly and stood upon his guard.
But he stood his ground, and grasping his pole more firmly yet, kept his eye fixed upon the nearest soldier--nodding his head meanwhile, as Hugh, with a scowling visage, whispered in his ear.
Some called to him to fly, and some were in the very act of closing round him, to prevent his being taken, when the pole swept into the air above the people's heads, and the man's saddle was empty in an instant.
Providing Pole Muffing & Maintenance on PSC Poles,Providing Pole Muffing & Maintenance on PSC Poles,Providing Pole Muffing & Maintenance on PSC Poles
This is the 3rd edition of the Towers and Poles Report.
Rigging Up: Cane poles should be two to three and a half times as tall as Dolly Parton.
Google's ninth doodle since the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012 is dedicated to pole vault.
Author Aldona Jonaitis says that "this book is intended to present the histories of a number of poles, focusing on how each one came about as the result, in part of the interactions between Native and non-Native people.
Over the past 10 years, poles have saved me from hundreds of falls and have proved valuable in many other ways.
Pentachlorophenol (penta) has been one of the major preservatives used to treat wood utility poles to protect them from decay fungi and insect attacks in various environments.