Share this entry

bargepole Line breaks: barge|pole
Pronunciation: /ˈbɑːdʒpəʊl/

Definition of bargepole in English:


A long pole used to propel a barge and fend off obstacles.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • Pass me a couple of them ten foot bargepole please.


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
More example sentences
  • 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?
  • 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).
  • Personally, I wouldn't touch these firms with a bargepole.

Words that rhyme with bargepole

tadpole • flagpole

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources