Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole

Okay, by now you should know that I’m an idiot for idioms.  I like finding out what phrases mean and where they came from.

I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole  . . . an expression I’ve been saying all my life.  Well, I said it the other day and so I says to myself . . . “I wonder where that came from”.   So here it is.

I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole is an expression that means you don’t want to have anything whatsoever to do with whatever it is you don’t want to touch with said pole.    This is actually adapted from the British saying . . .  I would not touch it with a bargepole. 

Who amongst you knows what a bargepole is . . .  

A bargepole is simply a long wooden pole that is used to push barges along.  A barge pole just so happens to be an average of 10 – 12 feet in length.  A ten-foot pole is just barge-pole by another name.

I'd assumed that the ten-foot pole version appeared because most people wouldn't know a barge-pole from a hole in the road.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry that your name is Cher. I mean that other Cher is so god-awful in every way, she gives a bad name to the name. I'm sorry you have to share the name with her.

    It's up to you to redeem it.