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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!
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!
would not touch someone or something with a bargepoleused 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.