Green’s Dictionary of Slang

wig n.2

1. [late 18C+] the pubic hair of either sex.

2. [20C+] the hair.

3. [1930s+] (US black) hair that has been artificially straightened.

4. [1940s+] (US black) the head, the brain or its functions.

5. [1950s] (W.I.) a male haircutting style that supposedly resembles a judge’s wig. The hair is cut into a peak at the front and there is no sharp razor line at the back. Those requesting such a cut would tell the barber, ‘Try me’.

6. [1950s–70s] (US black, also wigger) an eccentric, a mad person.

7. [1970s] (US) something of importance.

In compounds

wig bust (n.) [bust v.1 (11)]

[1940s+] (US black) the altering of a natural crinkly black head of hair into a straight process n. (1) style.

wig city (adj.) [wig out under wig v.1 + -city sfx]

1. [1960s+] (US teen) eccentric, unbalanced; in n. use (see cit. 1960) as a fig. ‘place’.

2. a psychiatric institution.

wig hat (n.)

[1950s+] (orig. US black) a wig; a hairpiece.

wig-picker (n.)

[1960s+] (US black) a psychiatrist.

wig tightener (n.)

[1950s] (US black) a wonderful, admirable individual.

wig trig (n.)

[1940s] (US black) an idea.

In phrases

blow one’s wig (v.)

1. [1930s–40s] (US black, also fracture one’s wig) to feel excited, enthusiastic or furious.

2. [1950s] to lose one’s mind.

all wig and waistcoat (adj.)

[mid-18C] used of a poseur, ‘all talk and no action’.

crack one’s wig (v.)

[1950s] (US black) to go mad.

flip one’s wig (v.) [1930s+] (orig. US black)

1. to lose one’s temper.

2. to lose one’s sanity; in weak use, to become emotional, e.g. through love.

have a tight wig (v.)

[1970s] (US black) to be drunk.

keep one’s wig cool (v.) (also keep one’s wig on)

[1910s+] to remain calm.

knock one’s wig (v.)

[1940s] (US black) to comb one’s hair.

lift the wig (v.)

[1940s] (US black) to amaze, to delight, to thrill.

loose wig (n.)

[1950s] (orig. US black) one who is without inhibitions or open to new ideas; thus loosen one’s wig v., to behave crazily.

lose one’s wig (v.)

[1960s] (drugs) to lose one’s mind from drug intoxication.

slip one’s wig (v.)

[1940s] (US) to go mad.

snap one’s wig (v.)

[1950s–70s] (US) to lose emotional control.

snatch one’s wig (v.)

[1940s] (US Black) to alarm, to amaze.

split one’s wig (v.)

[1950s–60s] (US) to suffer pain, to feel depressed, to be at the end of one’s tether.

split someone’s wig (v.)

1. [2000s] (US prison) to hit someone quickly and hard in the head.

2. [2000s] (US black) to hit hard; to kill.

tighten someone’s wig (v.) [1940s+] (US black)

1. to give someone else marijuana; to render someone intoxicated.

2. to delight.

trig one’s wig (v.) [SE trig(ger), to set off, to launch]

[1940s] (US black) to think fast.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

wig-block (n.)

1. [late 18C] a fool.

2. [late 18C–1970s] (also wig box, wig stand) the head.

wig-faker (n.) [faker n. (1)]

[18C–19C] a wig-maker, a hairdresser.

In phrases

lower wig (n.)

[19C] the pubic hair.

wigs on the green (n.) (also jigs on the green, mill on the green) [if one has not already removed it, one’s wig is likely to fall or be knocked off in such a fight]

[19C+] (orig. Irish) an argument, a fight.

In exclamations

blow my wig!

[early–mid-19C] a mild excl.

my wig! (also my wig and whiskers! my wigs and eyes!)

[19C–1900s] a mild excl. of surprise, irritation etc.