not touch something with a ten foot pole

Rate this phrase:(0.00 / 0 votes)
To avoid something at all costs; to refuse to associate with something; signifies a strong aversion.

Etymology:

  • This expression may have been derived by the 10-foot poles that electricians and other utility workers use to de-energize transformers and other high voltage utility equipment before performing maintenance.
  • This expression may have been derived by the 10-foot poles that river boatmen used to pole their boats with, along in shallow water, or from the barge poles that bargemen used to fend off wharfs and other boats.
  • Many believe this expression originates from a burial practice in New Orleans. The Spanish developed burial system of present day proceeds by first placing the casket of the patron in an above ground tomb. Exactly 1 year and 1 day after burial, the tomb is opened and the casket removed. The body is next wrapped in a sheet and shoved to the back of the tomb with a ten foot pole where it falls off the shelf to the bottom. The weather of the area caused the remains to decompose quickly and tombs are subsequently reused for many burial. The expression, "I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole," is thought to have originated from this burial process.
2 Views

Submitted on September 01, 2009

Additional definitions for 'not touch something with a ten foot pole':

not touch something with a ten foot poleAmbrose Bierce , The Fiend's Delight In conclusion, his respect for letter-writing ladies is so great that he would not touch one of them with a ten-foot pole.
not touch something with a ten foot poleAmbrose Bierce, The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. 8.
not touch something with a ten foot poleFrancis Lynde, The Quickening.
not touch something with a ten foot poleTo approach something or someone.
See them all »

Translation

Find a translation for the not touch something with a ten foot pole phrase in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to not touch something with a ten foot pole

Discuss this not touch something with a ten foot pole phrase with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this not touch something with a ten foot pole definition to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"not touch something with a ten foot pole." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Nov. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/not-touch-something-with-a-ten-foot-pole_5568>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest human-edited phrases collection on the web!

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.