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Wigging out

Posted by ESC on May 19, 2005

In Reply to: Wigging out posted by Shana on May 19, 2005

: What is the origin of phrase "wigging out" and what children book this concept is referenced in?

WIGGED OUT -- "Californiaspeak. The psychobabble of Marin County, California.picked up many strands from the voices of the counterculture, as well as Black English, jazz, rock music, and sports. This lingo, in use well in the 70s, was typified by these recurring expressions (such as).wig out, to go nuts or have a fit of anger or hysterics." From "Speaking Freely: A Guided Tour of American English from Plymouth Rock to Silicon Valley" by Stuart Berg Flexner and Anne H. Soukhanov (Oxford University Press, New York, 1997).

An earlier Flexner book says, "wig has meant a rebuke in English since 1804 and to scold, reprimand, since 1829; wigging, 1830. It's from 'earwig,' to pester.from the earwig insect." From Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from Our Lively and Splendid Past by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982).

A third reference says "wigged out" means "very high on drugs." From the "Wordsworth Book of Euphemism" by Judith S. Neaman and Carole G. Silver (Wordsworth Editions, Hertfordshire, 1995)

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