From “The Resident Patient” by Arthur Conan Doyle:
Finding that Holmes was too absorbed for conversation, I had tossed aside the barren paper, and leaning back in my chair, I fell into a brown study.
World Wide Words helpfully provides an etymology for the phrase “brown study.”
For reasons known not even to myself, I’ve chosen it or forms of it for my online moniker since the early 2000s.
(originally written 01 Jan 2005, revised for micro.blog)