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Wool-gathering

Your wits are gone wool-gathering. As children sent to gather wool from hedges are absent for a trivial purpose, so persons in a “brown study” are absent-minded to no good purpose.

“But, my dear, if my wits are somewhat wool-gathering and unsettled, my heart is as true as a star.” —Ilarriet B. Stowe.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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