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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

wouldn't touch it with a bargepole

Would not do or be involved with something at all; would not get close to something. Primarily heard in UK. Do you really think I'm the person to call when you see a spider? I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole! I know that Sue is a terrible cook, so I wouldn't touch that meal with a bargepole!
See also: bargepole, touch

would not touch someone or something with a bargepole

used to express an emphatic refusal to have anything to do with someone or something. informal
A bargepole is used to propel a barge and to fend off obstacles. The equivalent US expression substitutes a ten-foot pole .

not touch somebody/something with a ˈbargepole

(British English) (American English not touch somebody/something with a ten-foot ˈpole) (informal) refuse to get involved with somebody/something or in a particular situation: I don’t know why she’s marrying that man. I wouldn’t touch him with a bargepole.I wouldn’t touch the job with a ten-foot pole.
A barge is a large boat with a flat bottom which is sometimes moved using a very long pole.
References in periodicals archive ?
Vandell uses the metaphor of the bargepole - a long pole with a hook that is used to propel or guide boats in and out of a harbour - to signify the relationship between employees and their bosses.
Planet 51 (Wii) MOST film-to-game adaptations are firmly in the category marked 'If you have a bargepole don't touch this'.
I AGREE with K Roberts of Conwy 100% that we should not touch the idea of a football GB team with a bargepole for this simple reason.
I think, now that I know as much as I do, I wouldn't have touched it with a bargepole.
This Trojan horse is aiming to take advantage of many people's reflex reaction when they receive an executable file via email: rather than not touching it with a bargepole, they often can't resist double-clicking on it, even though they have no idea if it's safe or not.
Usually I wouldn't go near the subject with a bargepole but just this once I would love someone to explain to me the relevance of flying a tricolour with Che Guevara emblazoned on it at an Old Firm game.
PAYDAY loans should come with a picture of a bargepole and a warning: "Don't even touch with one of these.
No wonder newspapers won't touch the cross-party press regulations with a bargepole.
Usually wouldn't touch this sort of programme with a bargepole.
If I could turn the clock back 12 months I wouldn't touch this property with a bargepole.
In a section on the city, the guide states: "Huge regeneration projects have revitalised the industrial landscapes and canals that criss-cross the city, now there are more glamorous shops, swanky bars and hectic nightclubs than you can shake a bargepole at.
This would be true democracy; and none of our political parties would touch the idea with a bargepole.
Be honest, you wouldn't touch it with a bargepole would you?
Surely many of 3,000 staff axed by the AA since 2004 won't touch the new venture with a bargepole.
At the bottom, we also name those cars you shouldn't touch with a bargepole.