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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Emma B Folklore: Don't touch them with a barge pole (12) RE: Folklore: Don't touch them with a barge pole 02 Nov 10


A quant (pole) is a pole about 4 metres long and made from either wood or a hollow metal so that in either case it floats if left in the water used to propel a barge (or punt) through water or to manoeuvre them
(I used one myself a few weeks ago to get a narrow boat off a bank)

However the saying 'I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole' seems to have predated the use of 'barge pole' being used in the expression by 1758, the latter by 1877" according to "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).


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