his concentration has gone up the pole

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Come on, Jackman! Anyone would think he was jealous of Guy Preston. No, he was simply dog-tired and his concentration had gone up the pole. He shook himself.
Source: Murderer’s son by Joy Ellis

The bolded expression means he was transcended into a reverie and could not concentrate, right? Why up the pole though?

glossary:
dog-tired: extremely tired.

Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I've never heard "up the pole" used with this meaning, jacdac. Maybe British members will recognize it. " Out the window" has the same meaning over here.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To be “up the pole” always used to mean to be mad or crazy. I’ve never seen it used in the sense of someone’s concentration going awry due to tiredness, but the meaning is clear enough.
     
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