Not touch with a ten-foot pole

verb phrase

To be loath to have anything to do with; be suspicious or apprehensive; reject: If I were you I wouldn’t touch that proposition with a ten-foot pole

[1909+; semantically akin to the proverb advising us to use a long spoon when we eat with the devil; an earlier and once more common version spoke of a forty-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.


Read Also:

  • Nottoway

    [not-uh-wey] /ˈnɒt əˌweɪ/ noun 1. a river in S Virginia, flowing SE to the Blackwater River at the North Carolina border. 170 miles (274 km) long.

  • Notts

    [not-ing-uh m-sheer, -sher or, U.S. often -ham-] /ˈnɒt ɪŋ əmˌʃɪər, -ʃər or, U.S. often -hæm-/ noun 1. a county in central England. 854 sq. mi. (2210 sq. km). /nɒts/ abbreviation 1. Nottinghamshire /ˈnɒtɪŋəmˌʃɪə; -ʃə/ noun 1. an inland county of central England: generally low-lying, with part of the S Pennines and the remnant of Sherwood […]

  • Nothingness

    [nuhth-ing-nis] /ˈnʌθ ɪŋ nɪs/ noun 1. the state of being . 2. something that is nonexistent: a view of humanity as suspended between infinity and nothingness. 3. lack of being; nonexistence: The sound faded into nothingness. 4. unconsciousness or death: She remembered a dizzy feeling, then nothingness. 5. utter insignificance, emptiness, or worthlessness; triviality: The […]

  • Notungulate

    [noh-tuhng-gyuh-lit, -leyt] /noʊˈtʌŋ gyə lɪt, -ˌleɪt/ noun, adjective 1. .

Disclaimer: Not touch with a ten-foot pole definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.