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Up the Pole

Posted by Gary Martin on May 30, 2011 at 07:17

In Reply to: Up the Pole posted by spafon7e on May 30, 2011 at 07:14:

: RE 'Up the Pole'

: The largest lunatic asylum in East Yorks was [perhaps still is] De La Pole Hospital, Willerby. Around Hull they're pleased to tell you that 'Up The Pole' is local in origin, and derives similarly to 'Up At Mill', and other Yorkshire idioms.

This has the whiff of folk etymology. A little checking shows the story to be false. 'Up the pole' has several distinct meanings but the 'crazy' meaning is recorded from at least 1904. De La Pole Hospital was named in 1939.