Posted by Jeffrey Crocker on April 04, 2001
In Reply to: Re: THERE'LL BE WIGS ON THE GREEN posted by ESC on April 03, 2001
: : : MY MOTHER OFTEN USED TO USE AN EXPRESSION WHICH SHE SAYS WAS POPULAR IN THE AREA SHE WAS BORN IN
: : : (MARKETHILL,NORTHERN IRELAND).SHE EMPLOYED IT TO MEAN "THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY" OR "THE S**T WILL HIT THE FAN".I ALWAYS HAD A VISION OF TWO PEOPLE SQUABBLING AND PULLING EACH OTHERS HAIR OUT OR WHIPPING THE WIGS OFF THEIR OPPONENT.ANY TIME I USE IN THE TOWN I HAVE LIVED IN ALL MY LIFE, WHICH IS AS CLOSE AS 20 MILES TO MY MUMS HOMETOWN,IT IS ALWAYS RECEIVED WITH BLANK EXPRESSIONS.
: : : I MUST ADD THAT THE EXPRESSION COULD ACTUALLY BE POLLITICALLY RELATED AD ACTUALLY BE "THERE'LL BE WHIGS ON THE GREEN" BUT TO BE HONEST I WOULD BE SHOCKED IF THE SOURCE WOULD BE THE POLLITICAL AREA BASED ON ITS LOCALE.
: : : IF YOU HAVE HEARD THIS EXPRESSION BEFORE PLEASE LET ME KNOW.IF YOU KNOW THE ORIGN EVEN BETTER!IF YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE PLEASE USE IT.THE MENTAL IMAGE OF TWO BEER-GUTTED FIFTY-SOMETHINGS PULLING THE TOUPES OFF EACH OTHER IS MUCH MORE FUN THAN PICTURING EXCRETIA SPLATTERING AGAINST A FAST MOVING BLADE!
: : :
: : Kyle,
: : It is wigs rather than whigs. It is Irish in origin but isn't in wide use any longer; as you suggested. I suppose there aren't many periwigs or whigs around these days. The allusion is to a fight, vigorous enough to make the participants' wigs fall off.
: : Gary Martin
: It sounds like the more grisly saying: "There will be blood and hair on the walls." (Sorry about that.)Or "heads will roll."
This expression was used in my family in the 1940's and originated from an Irish woman who had married into the family. It was used in the form " The wigs will be on the green to be sure, if you do be worrying me so!" Our understanding of this was that "Wigs" was a poetic allusion to hair and that "green" referred to the ground so that the meaning was that her hair would fall out if she was caused any further worry. This seems to be closer to the mark than that of previous correspondents.