Green’s Dictionary of Slang

wig n.2

1. the pubic hair of either sex.

[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 83: He dresses her wig in a new fashion way / [...] / She constantly smiles on her doating dear puff / And thinks he can never be tumbled enough.
[UK] ‘The Wig And The Poll’ in Flash Chaunter 35: You’ll see wigs in his front or a pole at his door [...] With success to the Wig, and the stiff standing pole.
[UK] ‘The Rare Old Root’ in Cuckold’s Nest 8: A song to the root, that rare old root [...] Here’s success and renown to its wig of down, / And its seven or eight inches long. [Ibid.] 29: She shews to him her coal black wig.
[UK]Peeping Tom (London) 38 149/1: [The] fine woman, who in her fall, discovered something which he jocosely declared resembled Lord Mansfield’s wig which he [i.e. a a thief in court] had seen before.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) X 2013: I [...] felt her hard thighs and buttocks again, scratched the wig on the motte.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
[US]R.A. Wilson Playboy’s Book of Forbidden Words.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 (Summer/Winter) 131: Pubes […] velvet, wig, wool.

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.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 24 Apr. 101/2: [of boxing judges] The Navvy did not want for bottom; but when the chance appeared against him [...] as well as to give the Wigs no trouble about the matter, the John Bull Fighter with much feeling declared Kent should not fight any longer.
[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.

3. the hair.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 16 Jan. 3/1: The old dame seized the broom and attempted to brush his wig with it.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 11 May 500: Me wig had to be washed.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 14 Mar. 5/5: Squirts R. kids himself on a new bike going to see his bit of dog's meat with [...] paint and powder on his dial, and curling tongs in his wig .
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 29 Nov. [synd. col.] Hull and Wallace are the latest Capitol feudists, getting in each other’s wig over their conflicting [...] policies.
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 488: wig : Head, hair. Mary’s got a righteous wig.
[US]L. Hairston ‘The Winds of Change’ in Clarke Harlem, USA (1971) 317: Don’t tell me that wavy-wigged-Waddell’s gonna wash out his beauty tresses. [Ibid.] 319: I dug my wig in the mirror.
[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 87: wig n. 1. a person’s hair.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 10: tight wig – a well-cared for hair style.
[SA]K. Cage Gayle 103/2: wig n. hairstyle.

4. (US black) hair that has been artificially straightened.

[US](con. 1930s–60s) C. Major Juba to Jive.

5. (US black) the head, the brain or its functions.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 44: Knock thy wig, chick, for the hypes thou hast put down.
[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 1: In spinning a platter of some very popular band leader, I would come on something like this: ‘Jackson, here’s that man again, cool, calm and a solid wig, he is laying a frantic scream that will strictly pad your skull, fall in and dig the happenings.’ Which is to say, the orchestra leader is a real classy singer and has a voice that most people would like.
[US]J. Blake letter 27 Mar. in Joint (1972) 58: All of it keeps my wig in turmoil.
[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 7: They Called This Cat The All Hip Mahatma because his wig was so cool.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 57: I want you to light you up a joint and take a real good shit and screw your wig on tight, / and let me tell you about the little bad motherfucker called Dolomite.
[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso 21: I really do think that there is something wrong with this man’s wig.
[US]R.R. Moore ‘Dolemite’ 🎵 But I want ya to light you up a joint and take a real good shit and screw your wig on tight / And let me tell ya about the little bad muthafucka called Dolemite.
[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 7: The movie spooked me. My wig was loose.
1011 ‘Next Up?’ 🎵 Get round there samurais and flicks / JaySav put his whole rambz in your wig.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 97: I chugged Claire’s absinthe. Wormwood whipped my wig.
[UK]Digga D. ‘Stuck in the Mud’ 🎵 I’ll stuff the clip, rise the stick and touch his wig (Baow).

6. (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’.

[WI]cited in Cassidy & LePage Dict. Jam. Eng. (1980).

7. (US black, also wigger) an eccentric, a mad person.

[US]E. Gilbert Vice Trap 55: Graemie boy’s the coolest wig here. [Ibid.] 74: Christ, he is a wig, isn’t he?
[US]Jazz for Moderns 21: wig: a person who is very crazy. Sometimes called wigger.
[US]D. Claerbaut Black Jargon in White America 87: wig n. […] 2. a crazy person; very unusual person.

8. (US) something of importance.

[US] in M. Daly Profile of Youth 235: Negro teen-agers on Chicago’s South Side show a flair for colorful language and imaginative clothes [...] Bright baseball caps are ‘the wig’ with cords or dress suits.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 229: It was a wig, but not a major wig.

In compounds

wig city (adj.) [wig out under wig v.2 + -city sfx]

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

[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 17: City Hall has flipped, and swung to a drunken zoo! / And all of you cats have goofed to wig city.
[US]G. Sculatti Catalog of Cool 🌐 in Wig City (descriptive phrase): Caught in the township of the flipped, just outside sanity and peopled by mad daddies and moms.
Lynn ‘Secrets and Lies’ Pt 5 on 🌐 ‘You told him? You’re all right?’ Buffy nodded. ‘I’m fine, Giles.’ She turned away and headed for the kitchen to get a soda. ‘Of course, that doesn’t mean he took it well. That whole soul thing?’ she called out over her shoulder. ‘Wig city.’.

2. a psychiatric institution.

[US]K. Friedman Roadkill 144: The cat would keep me company in wig city just like Van Gogh had a cat in the mental hospital to keep him company .
K. Friedman Spanking Watson 65: Hauled off to wig city by burly dykes in white nurse's uniforms.
J. Reid Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock 189: Roky, one of the original crazy guys, wound up in wig city with a patch over his middle eye.
wig hat (n.)

(orig. US black) a wig; a hairpiece.

‘High Heeled Sneakers’ 🎵 Put on your high heeled sneakers and put your wig hat on your head.
[US]‘Hy Lit’ Hy Lit’s Unbelievable Dict. of Hip Words 45: wig hat – A hair piece for a fox.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 23: Out poked Candy’s spunsugar wighat, baby blues agog.
[US]S. Moorcie In The Cut 54: wig hat, wig.
L. Butler If Your Hair Falls Out, Keep Dancing! n.p.: Look at Molly dance, here she comes / Wearin’ her wig hat and shades to match.
wig-picker (n.)

(US black) a psychiatrist.

[US]W. Styron Set This House on Fire 408: Well, dreams, you know. I never put much stock in them. [...] those naval wig pickers in San Francisco used to try and worm a few of them out of me.
R.H. Cox Religious Systems and Psychotherapy 369: It has become popular in our day to call psychiatrists all kinds of names [...] wig picker, head shrinker, nut cracker, witch doctor, couch doctor, nerve doctor.
[US]C. Hiaasen Strip Tease 89: ‘Come on, wigpicker. Trau-ma-tized’ [...] In a shaky but defiant voice, the psychiatrist spelled the word perfectly.
R. Hall You’re Stepping on my Cloak and Dagger 66: Only I drew a lady wig picker. Fortyish, attractive, with what I took to be a Viennese accent, and extremely sharp.
D.I. Morris Riverfront Dreams 92: He was a loner, a hermit, what a wig picker would have labeled a misanthropic.
wig tightener (n.)

(US black) a wonderful, admirable individual.

[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 9: I’m not hep to the why ‘fur’, but for me you are a wig tightner, for you I would knock fowl soup.
wig trig (n.)

(US black) an idea.

[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 158: I didn’t have enough wig-trigs to explain why.
[US]S. Longstreet Golden Runaways 185: All you yard-dogs got no wig-trig how much a nigger feels he's the better man.
Vintage Ford 32 38: Hit by a wig-trig during a warm spell last week, I traipsed out to the barn and sorted out various parts from the stock room.

In phrases

blow one’s wig (v.)

1. (US black, also fracture one’s wig) to feel excited, enthusiastic or furious.

[US]Cab Calloway New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 253: blew their wigs (adj.): excited with enthusiasm, gone crazy.
[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 11 May 19: The agent has almost blown his wig over her.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 134: I’ll just have to go to my mother. She’ll probably blow her wig when she sees me.
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 483: fracture your wig : To get angry. Love can make you fracture your wig.
Standford Short Stories 8 27: ‘I don't know!’ Travis shouted. ‘How do I know? I ain’t no doctor!’ [...] ‘You don't have to blow your wig,’ Jaeger said.
[US]C. Cooper Jr ‘Yet Princes Follow’ in Black! (1996) 190: I blasted then, really blew my wig!
[US](con. 1960s) D. Wells Night People 99: It used to amuse me to hear them getting warm and blowing their wigs.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 53: To blow up is to lose one’s temper, as is to blow a fuse or a gasket and to blow [one’s] top or cork or stack or wig.
T. Clark White Thought 49: Don’t blow your wig, scholar. Let the beer fiddlers play.
[Aus]P. Doyle Get Rich Quick 54: ‘Give the money back, clear out, and that’s the finish. Otherwise, both of you are dead.’ Max spoke then. ‘Well, dad, don’t blow your wig just yet. Hear this’.

2. vi. to lose one’s mind.

D. Washington ‘New Blowtop Blues’ 🎵 I’ve got bad news baby, and you’re the first to know, / [...] / Well I discovered this morning that my wig is about to blow.
[US]‘Ed McBain’ Killer’s Wedge (1981) 13: It looks like you’ve blown your wig, that’s what it looks like. What the hell’s the gun for?

3. (drugs) vt. of drugs, e.g. marijuana, to intoxicate heavily .

[US]‘John Eagle’ Hoodlums (2021) 52: ‘Goodies,’ Lisette said [...] ‘Careful,’ Martin said. ‘These are not cut. They’ll blow your wig’.
all wig and waistcoat (adj.)

used of a poseur, ‘all talk and no action’.

[UK]Newcastle Courant 14 June 1/2: If we have a War, it is such brave Fellows as Cavally that must save us, not those pretty Smock-faced Fellows that are all Wigg and Waistcoat.
crack one’s wig (v.)

(US black) to go mad.

[US]W. Brown Teen-Age Mafia 169: He must have cracked his wig to have thought that he could get away with it.
flip one’s wig (v.) (orig. US black)

1. to lose one’s temper.

G. Michael ‘Sweet Marijuana Brown’ in Murder at the Vanities [film script] She plants, you dig – she’s flipped her wig. / Sweet Marijuana Brown.
[US]A. Zugsmith Beat Generation 32: Rajah hadn’t flipped his wig.
[US]F. Kohner Gidget Goes Hawaiian 112: A gorgeous package like Abby flipping her wig.
[UK]N. Smith Gumshoe (1998) 25: Don’t flip your wig, buster.
[US]P. Benchley Lush 65: Help! [...] The guy’s flipped his wig.
Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY) 16 Mar. 35/2: ‘Phimbean has popped his cork, flipped his wig, blown his stack’.
Fane & Byrnes AutoCAD 2013 for Dummies n.p.: If you’re having problems getting the look you want, don't flip your wig.

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

[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 249: Maybe like the chick’s flippin her wig.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 5 June in Proud Highway (1997) 616: My lawyer flipped his wig on the coast and came out here to avoid being committed.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 181: Suppose one of those big boogs flips his wig, and does something screwy?
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 138: Her terror was so great that she just flipped her wig right there and then.
C. Lewis ‘Has Anybody Seen my Cool?’ in Love and Dandelions 36: I’ve always kept my feet on the ground, / Until that little girl came around, / And then I flipped my wig.
N.B. Vanyoos Onyalum Retribution 365: Maybe he had wanted to be confronted so that he could tell someone about his beloved Admiral who had flipped his wig.
J.N. Elledge 29 Yrs from Home 63: Don’t flip your wig, man. You don’t have to yell. I'm just two feet away.
have a tight wig (v.)

(US black) to be drunk.

[US](con. 1930s) D. Wells Night People 70: Like they all say when their wigs are tight. [Ibid.] 118: To have a ‘tight wig’ is to be high or drunk.
keep one’s wig cool (v.) (also keep one’s wig on)

to remain calm.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 638: from ca. 1910.
[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 198: Alright, cunt! Keep yer fuckin wig on, will yer!
L. St. John Kidnap in the Caribbean n.p.: ‘Keep your wig on,’ said Jimmy. ‘I was only joking’.
lift the wig (v.)

(US black) to amaze, to delight, to thrill.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 87: To ‘lift the wig’ [...] is an indication that one is suddenly ‘surprised,’ ‘overjoyed,’ or ‘thrilled’ at something potent, unbelievably fresh, or ‘surprising’ as to automatically ‘lift the wig.’.
loose wig (n.)

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

[US]Jazz for Moderns 20: loose wig: a completely uninhibited really way-out musician.
[US](con. 1950s) Pepper & Pepper Straight Life 177: We had a saying: ‘To loosen your wig.’ When you got uptight and really nervous, then you’d ‘unscrew your cap,’ and [...] get silly and nutty and make weird noises.
slip one’s wig (v.)

(US) to go mad.

[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 40: Her old lady got scared by a rat so bad she slipped her wig.
[US]Jenkins & Shrake Limo 90: ‘Between you and I, the Big Guy’s wig has slipped [...] The Big Guy has got squirrels in his attic’.
snap one’s wig (v.)

(US) to lose emotional control.

[US]Southern & Hoffenberg Candy (1970) 153: Me being thirty-four, and him a young, soulful-looking cat, snapping his wig like that on account of my tight slick goodie.
[US](con. 1940s) H. Simmons Man Walking On Eggshells 155: A cat could only take so much of that kind of stuff without snapping his wig.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 20: Naturally the studio was quick to snap its wig.
snatch one’s wig (v.)

(US Black) to alarm, to amaze .

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 10 Feb. 7/1: Hi Billy — I hope you won’t dig me as being a drag in layin’ this line on you, but these old peepers of mine picked up a sight that really snatched my wig.
split one’s wig (v.)

(US) to suffer pain, to feel depressed, to be at the end of one’s tether.

[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 45: ‘My wig is split,’ Scar moaned.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 43: I wondered what ‘overwrought’ meant. It sounded like a word you’d use when somebody had split his wig.
split someone’s wig (v.)

1. (US prison) to hit someone quickly and hard in the head.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 Split Your Wig: A quick punch to the head. (TX).
[US]J.E. Lawson Last Burn in Hell 12: If you’s a fuckin’ weezo we gonna split yo muddafuggin’ wig.
[US]Prison Slang Mommyblogger 26 Sept. 🌐 So your little jitterbug has the rabbit in her, and thinks its funny to split your wig.

2. (US black) to hit hard; to kill.

[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 split someone’s wig Definition: to kill someone; kick someone’s ass with intention to kill. Example: Yo, Kenyan got his ass beat down!! that nigga, B Dogg, nearly split his wig, yo!
[US]UGK ‘Life Is 2009’ 🎵 Cause if you tell on us, we’ll be splittin your wig.
tighten someone’s wig (v.) (US black)

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

[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 218: This cat’s playin’ ketch-up and I got to tighten his wig.
[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 241: tighten somebody’s wig To give him some marijuana to smoke.

2. to delight.

[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 6: Here’s a cat that lays a group of ivory talking trash and strictly putting down a gang of jive. The situation is much mellow, it’s many fine and understand gates it will tighten your wig.
[US]D.H. Sterry Chicken (2003) 174: When you git tired of awll that prissy pussy, you come awn down, and we tighten your wig for ya.
trig one’s wig (v.) [SE trig(ger), to set off, to launch]

(US black) to think fast.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 103: I’m trigging my wig to see if I can dig where I latched onto you before.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

wig-block (n.)

1. a fool.

[Aus]P. de Marivaux Agreeable Surprise (translation) II ii: Damn the old wig-block.

2. (also wig box, wig stand) the head.

[US] ‘Luke Caffrey’s Ghost’ in Limerick 4: For if but an inch dat you stir, / De devil your wig-blocks shall batter.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 190: Hammer took advantage of the pause [...] to go up to his corner and once more get the ‘liquid rouge’ wiped of his ‘wig-block.’.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 214: wig stand the head [...] Syn: wig box.

In phrases

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]

(orig. Irish) an argument, a fight.

[Ire]‘A Real Paddy’ Real Life in Ireland 15: In the twinkling of a blind piper’s eye there were ‘wigs on the green.’.
[Aus]G.C. Mundy Our Antipodes II 332: Had he remained and fought well, there would unquestionably have been ‘wigs on the green.’.
[UK]E. Yates Broken to Harness I 267: I’ll wager there’ll be ‘wigs upon the green.’.
McIvor Times (Heathcote, Vic.) 2 June 2/6: ‘[U]nless you turn those Cockney lads off your land there will be wigs on the green, not the wigs of game, but human wigs’.
[UK]Henley & Stevenson Deacon Brodie I tab.III iii: There’ll be wigs on the green to-morrow, Badger!
[UK]Sporting Times 15 Mar. 1/5: ‘Talking of ugly babies, if you could see my cousin Dora’s last, you would think this one quite a beauty!’ It was then that the wigs were on the green.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 12 May 1/7: Not wigs, but surplices and L.O.G.T. regalia ‘on the green!
[UK]‘G.B. Lancaster’ Sons O’ Men 187: And won’t there be wigs on the green to-morrow?
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 7 Feb. 2/2: When the ‘Comet’ gets to business, there'll be wigs upon the green.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 1 May 2nd sect. 9/1: They Say [...] That had the pair gone on, there would have been wigs on the warpath.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 68: Jewey and Ginger raked up that old tyke scandal, and wanted to have a mill on the green.
[UK]‘Taffrail’ Sub 74: I got clear away. There would have been wigs on the green if I hadn’t.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 337: But Tommy said he wanted the ball and Edy told him no that baby was playing with the ball and if he took it there’d be wigs on the green.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 20 May 45/9: Oh Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that’s going round? / There’ll soon be wigs and other things on Erin’s emerald ground.
[Ire]C. Brown Down All the Days 55: Leaving Mother all thumbs and trembling lest Father chance to go upstairs and discover the jail-break. ‘There’ll be quare jigs on the green if he does!’ she would whispier.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 23: Wigs on the green, Francie! We’ll have them Prods swimmin’ for the Mull of Kintyre in a week!
[Ire](con. 1920s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 104: ‘There’ll be wigs on the Green,’ he said, ‘skin and hair flying.’.
[Ire]Sun. Trib. (Dublin) 2 July n.p.: But there’ll be wigs on the green if ever I catch them [BS].

In exclamations

blow my wig!

a mild excl.

[UK]J.H. Lewis Lectures on Art of Writing (1840) 85: Can I stand this? no – blow my wig, I’m hungry as a starving pig!
[UK]Hereford Jrnl 4 Feb. 4/4: Keep off, for if you come athwart my hawse, blow my wig but I’ll cut your cables!
[UK] ‘Shadrack, The Orangeman’ Universal Songster I 27/1: Plow my vig, for vat you plow me up, vy didn’t you look sharp yourself.
[UK]Morn. Post 15 Sept. 4/1: Blow my wig, he has done us.
[UK]Operative (London) 14 Apr. 12/3: But as for the lights, blow my wig if they were not all burning as right as a trivet.
[UK]Bristol Mercury 5 Dec. 6/3: And blow my wig and buttons, but it puzzles me, shure-ly.
[UK]Huddersfield Chron. 23 Nov. 4/5: Blow my wig if ever I heard such a speech in all my life.
my wig! (also my wig and feathers, ...and whiskers! my wigs and eyes!)

a mild excl. of surprise, irritation etc.

[UK]Morn. Post (London) 2 Dec. 3/4: My wig! What bad grammar that were t’other night?
[UK]‘The Dandy Cat’s-Meat Lass’ in Universal Songster I 17/2: My vig! vat a vicked cat’s meat lass.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy I 413: My wigs and eyes – Dowton’s a better part than mine.
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 161: ‘Oh my wig, my wig!’ cried Master Charles Bates.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 60: ‘My vig!’ exclaimed Mr Jorrocks.
[UK]‘Epistle from Joe Muggins’s Dog’ in Era (London) 25 July 3/3: My wig and feathers! they were going at it hammer and tongs.
[UK]J. Diprose London Life 44: My vig and viskers, ain’t he volloping the donkey!
[UK]Sporting Times 13 May 4/4: He rubbed his hands in gleeful anticipation of some interesting work. And he got it. For that was an over! My wig!