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  1. #1
    dickybird is offline Newbie
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    Smile I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole

    I would like to know the origin, please.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole

    Quote Originally Posted by dickybird View Post
    I would like to know the origin, please.
    If you google it you will find various explanations but the fact is nobody seems to know for certain.

  3. #3
    AlVal is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole

    Having used barges in canals, I can advise that the sides of locks and banks etc. which someone navigating a canal would often need to press their barge-pole against can be very slimy and filthy, and definitely not nice to touch with your hands. To suggest you wouldn't even want your barge-pole to touch it (an item which routinely touches this filth) suggests it must be something extra-nasty indeed

  4. #4
    dickybird is offline Newbie
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    Lightbulb Re: I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole

    Quote Originally Posted by AlVal View Post
    Having used barges in canals, I can advise that the sides of locks and banks etc. which someone navigating a canal would often need to press their barge-pole against can be very slimy and filthy, and definitely not nice to touch with your hands. To suggest you wouldn't even want your barge-pole to touch it (an item which routinely touches this filth) suggests it must be something extra-nasty indeed
    Thank you, AlVal. I felt certain it came from canal barges, but I've never been on one. Your experience has filled in the gap and I'm sure this is it as it fits perfectly.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole

    Quote Originally Posted by AlVal View Post
    Having used barges in canals, I can advise that the sides of locks and banks etc. which someone navigating a canal would often need to press their barge-pole against can be very slimy and filthy, and definitely not nice to touch with your hands. To suggest you wouldn't even want your barge-pole to touch it (an item which routinely touches this filth) suggests it must be something extra-nasty indeed
    That's an interesting point.

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