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Wild and woolly

Posted by Lotg on November 14, 2004

My big yank recently told me that things had gotten wild and woolly up his way. I looked for previous posts on this, found an entry, but couldn't open it.

So can anyone tell me why this term came to mean lawless, unrestrained and out of control? Dictionary definitions say it probably originated in the 'wild west' of America. But how does the 'woolly' bet get in there?