Green’s Dictionary of Slang

wig n.1

[wig v.2 ]

1. a severe scolding, a telling-off.

J. Woodforde Diary of Country Parson 1 Feb. (1927) III 81: Thomas Carr dined with our Folks in Kitchen. Gave him a tolerable good Wigg.
[UK]Sir J. Malcolm in Life (1856) I 267: If you got a private wig about Gwalior, I shall get a dozen .
T. Moore Twopenny Post Bag in Poetical Wks 129/2: Else, though the Pre be long in rigging, ’Twould take, at least, a fortnight’s wigging / Two wigs to every paragraph / Before he well could get through half .
[UK]F.B. Doveton Burmese War 76: The temptation [...] of getting a mouthful of fresh meat, was beyond my powers of resistance, although at the risk of a wig in G. O., or even a court-martial .
[US]R.F. Burton City of the Saints 52: The meritorious intention – for which the severest ‘wig’ [...] would have been its sole result in the ‘fast-anchored isle’ – was most courteously received.
Daily Chron. (London) 21 Nov. 3/3 n.p.: As often as not a ‘wig’ ended by the offer of a cheroot .

2. a dignitary, lit. one who wears a wig for professional reasons, usu. a judge or barrister.

[UK]W. Godwin Caleb Williams (1966) 222: Because I laugh at assizes, and great wigs, and the gallows.
[US]Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 317/1: Wig, a judge.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 26 Oct. 3/3: We’d better burst up this meeting [...] there are too many wigs here.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 237/1: Wig. (Scattered areas in the U.S.) A judge, especially in criminal courts.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 176: You could see the old Wig beaming like an advertisement for breakfast food.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 78: Normally only the wigs got conferences.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 4 June 25: The 13 wigs were bobbing about laughing and cracking jokes.