Definition of bargepole in English:



  • A long pole used to propel a barge and fend off obstacles.

    • ‘Pass me a couple of them ten foot bargepole please.’
    • ‘Ropes were cast off and stevedores moved in with bargepoles to keep the hull clear of the wharf.’
    • ‘Caddick's arrival was in the nick of time, for the rest of England's attack was as blunt as a bargepole.’


  • would not touch someone/thing with a bargepole

    • informal Used to express a refusal to have anything to do with someone or something.

      ‘relax, I wouldn't touch you with a bargepole!’
      ‘snow rafting is potentially so dangerous that no American resort will touch it with a bargepole’
      • ‘People who'd like to do it with you you'd generally not touch with a bargepole.’
      • ‘If I had been up and about I would not have touched him with a bargepole, because he was obviously dodgy.’
      • ‘Or would you not even touch it with your longest bargepole?’
      • ‘As Budweiser is brewed from rice as well as barley, Germans dub it ‘chemi-beer’, or chemical beer, and won't touch it with a bargepole.’
      • ‘In western Europe, where the strategy of the trade unions has been to refuse to touch private pensions with a bargepole, things are different - dramatically so.’
      • ‘I really dislike the way these mortgages are designed and marketed - and I wouldn't touch one with a bargepole.’
      • ‘In fact, if I was the City chairman David Bernstein - or the chairman of any other English club, come to that - I wouldn't touch Bowyer with a ten-foot bargepole.’
      • ‘Some people just won't touch ostrich meat with a bargepole even though we believe it is very good for you.’
      • ‘Personally, I wouldn't touch these firms with a bargepole.’
      • ‘Frankly, there are a lot of MPs who do not want to touch the Holyrood building with a bargepole.’
      • ‘Still, I made it perfectly clear that I didn't want to touch it with a bargepole and he still pressed it into my hands - so what else was I supposed to do?’
      • ‘A vast number of people admit to having had feelings for ‘a friend’ (well, except for the people who sensibly wouldn't touch the question with a bargepole).’
      • ‘Why should I pay for stuff like the Olympics on the BBC, which are so boring to most people that ITV wouldn't touch them with a bargepole?’
      • ‘Publishers usually won't touch them with a bargepole.’
      • ‘I wouldn't touch your employer's scheme with a bargepole, unless he was making substantial contributions on your behalf.’
      • ‘I'd go as far as to say that MBNA's policy stinks - I certainly wouldn't touch it with the proverbial bargepole!’
      • ‘I'd been his number-one fan - still am of his music - but I wouldn't go near him again with a bargepole.’
      • ‘Historically, that was something which they did not touch with a bargepole, they had no knowledge, they had no understanding, and it was not seen in any shape or form as any popular vote catcher.’
      • ‘People, real people, tell us that certain things are nice and you should try them, but there are certain things that I won't touch with a bargepole.’
      • ‘You can buy a 25% share - costing £949 / month - but most mortgage lenders won't touch that with a bargepole.’