Ten-foot pole

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Jeremy Chen:
Recently I came across this sentence: I wouldn't get near one of the new programs in this country with a ten-foot pole.

I cannot find the meaning of the phrase "a ten-foot pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?
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Robert Lieblich:
[nq:1]Recently I came across this sentence: I wouldn't get near one of the new programs in this country with a ten-foot pole. I cannot find the meaning of the phrase "a ten-foot pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?[/nq]
It's a cliche. The standard phraseology is "I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole," meaning that the speaker finds "it" (whatever "it" is) so offensive that he or she would stay at least ten feet away from it and even then would not want to make any sort of contact with it. In most contexts you'll find it a lot easier just to say something like "I consider it very offensive."

-- Bob Lieblich Whose mother was a five-foot Pole
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Jack Gavin:
[nq:2]Recently I came across this sentence: I wouldn't get near ... pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?[/nq]
[nq:1]It's a cliche. The standard phraseology is "I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole," meaning that the speaker finds ... it. In most contexts you'll find it a lot easier just to say something like "I consider it very offensive."[/nq]
... or "scary", or otherwise "to be avoided".

I've never seen the proverbial Ten-Foot Pole, but the NBA has a Seven-and-a-Half-Foot Yugoslav. (Slavko Vranes of the Portland Trail Blazers)

-- Jack Gavin
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Enrico C:
Jeremy Chen | alt.usage.english,uk.culture.language.english in
[nq:1]Recently I came across this sentence: I wouldn't get near one of the new programs in this country with a ten-foot pole. I cannot find the meaning of the phrase "a ten-foot pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?[/nq]
Hi Jeremy,

I am not an English native speaker, anyway I came across this idiom a few times.

I think it's usually said as "I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole".

As I understand it, it means you advise against getting involved in something, because you distrust it or just because that would get you into trouble.

http://www.knls.org says it is an American idiom:

"A fun American idiom is I WOULDN'T TOUCH THAT WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE The speaker is usually saying he doesn't want to get involved The pole refers to the long poles used to push barges down a canal or river You might hear an American say, 'Charlie, I don't have a clue how you get yourself involved in these situations, but I wouldn't touch that one with a ten-foot pole' Here's another example 'That salesman doesn't seem very honest I wouldn't touch one of his contracts with a ten foot pole I WOULDN'T TOUCH THAT WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE"
Hope that helps Emotion: smile

-- Enrico C
[nq:1]http://www.lillathedog.net/icling/dizionari_inglese.html [/nq]
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Peter Morris :
[nq:1]Recently I came across this sentence: I wouldn't get near one of the new programs in this country with a ten-foot pole. I cannot find the meaning of the phrase "a ten-foot pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?[/nq]
Often given as "10-foot bargepole". (A long pole with a hook on the end used for pulling canal boats to the bank of the canal.)

HTH.
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Can you still buy \Spangles\? :
[nq:1]I cannot find the meaning of the phrase "a ten-foot pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?[/nq]
It is a mis-quote. The correct term is "a ten-foot barge pole."

100 years ago they used barges in England to convey good via the British canals. Barges were a common form of public transport. Slow, but cheaper than a coach, but both were horse-drawn. The barge workers used a 10-foot pole to push the barge away from the canal bank, to steer the barge under bridges, through tunnels and to fender off other canal traffic. The barge pole was a usefull tool for keeping things at bay.
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Dave Swindell:
In article (Email Removed), Enrico C (Email Removed) writes
[nq:1]Jeremy Chen alt.usage.english,uk.culture.language.english in [/nq]
[nq:2]Recently I came across this sentence: I wouldn't get near ... pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?[/nq]
[nq:1]Hi Jeremy, I am not an English native speaker, anyway I came across this idiom a few times. I think it's usually said as "I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole". Or in Britain, with a "barge pole".[/nq]
-- Dave OSOS#24 (Email Removed) Remove my gerbil for email replies

Yamaha XJ900S & Wessex sidecar, the sexy one Yamaha XJ900F & Watsonian Monaco, the comfortable one

http://dswindell.members.beeb.net
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Tony Mountifield:
[nq:1]http://www.knls.org says it is an American idiom: "A fun American idiom is I WOULDN'T TOUCH THAT WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE ... want to get involved The pole refers to the long poles used to push barges down a canal or river[/nq]
In fact the British equivalent is simply "I wouldn't touch that with a barge-pole".

Cheers, Tony -- Tony Mountifield Work: (Email Removed) - http://www.softins.co.uk Play: (Email Removed) - http://tony.mountifield.org
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Harvey Van Sickle:
[nq:2]I cannot find the meaning of the phrase "a ten-foot pole." Is it a slang? What does it account for?[/nq]
[nq:1]It is a mis-quote. The correct term is "a ten-foot barge pole."[/nq]
Not really a "mis-quote": the US and UK versions are different.

In the US, it's "...with a ten-foot pole"; in the UK the wording is "...with a barge-pole".

I've never heard "...with a ten-foot barge pole"; sounds redundant to my ear.

-- Cheers, Harvey

Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years; Southern England for the past 21 years. (for e-mail, change harvey to whhvs)
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