Poke a stick

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New Member
Hi there,

Can anyone help me understand what this sentence means?

We ain't gonna poke a stick​
in our business and then snap it off by telling Little Big Mouth all of our problems.

The context is that a group of people sometimes include Little Big Mouth in their plans and sometimes they don't. One of them suggests that she be always included because she helps them all the time, and the other comes up with this answer.

Thanks anyway
  • JJohnson

    Senior Member
    Texan English
    Poke a stick can have two meanings.
    1.) stir up trouble: poke a stick into a beehive
    2.) injure onesself: poke a stick in my eye

    Snap off the stick is a different metaphor:
    You control a wild animal or some other unpleasant situation with a long stick. If you snap off the stick you lose control of the situation.

    This is a mixed metaphor.
    This person does not want to stir up trouble by including LBM because LBM could spoil the plan by telling everyone else your problems. You can't keep control if LBM blabs to just anyone.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    The "snap it off" part is confusing to me. I honestly don't know how I'd interpret this, since "snap it off" doesn't seem to quite match the two metaphors suggested by JJohnson.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Only a suggestion:

    If you poke a stick into something and then break it off, there is no way to remove it. Once they have told LBM, they have put a trouble-causing stick into their business, and there will be no way to get her out of it again, that is, stop her from causing trouble.

    Essentially, this is the meaning JJohnson suggests, but based on a slightly different understanding of the image.
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