Posted by Lewis on November 15, 2004
In Reply to: 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?
In mountainous and inhospitable areas, the only realistic farming that can be done is sheep or goats - both of which are sources of wool. So 'wild' and 'woolly' became synonymous and even though things can be 'wild' without being in sheep country and sheep country need not be 'wild', it is a conjoined expression that people use.