noun British Informal.

a scolding or reproof.

Origin of wigging

First recorded in 1805–15; wig + -ing1




an artificial covering of hair for all or most of the head, of either synthetic or natural hair, worn to be stylish or more attractive.
a similar head covering, worn in one's official capacity, as part of a costume, disguise, etc.
a toupee or hairpiece.
British Informal. a wigging.

verb (used with object), wigged, wig·ging.

to furnish with a wig.
British Informal. to reprimand or reprove severely; scold.

Verb Phrases

wig out, Slang.
  1. to be intoxicated with narcotic drugs.
  2. to make or become wildly excited or enthusiastic: She wigs out over every rock star that comes along.

Origin of wig

First recorded in 1665–75; short for periwig
Related formswig·less, adjectivewig·like, adjectiveun·wig, verb (used with object), un·wigged, un·wig·ging.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wigging

Historical Examples of wigging

  • "He has been getting a wigging and no mistake," one said to another.

    At Aboukir and Acre

    George Alfred Henty

  • Just now she was getting rather a wigging, but she was remarkably calm.

    Long Live the King

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • “By Jupiter, what a wigging I shall get,” whispered Dicky, in a terrible funk.

    Salt Water

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • Yes; and the Major had you up to give you a wigging, as you call it, only yesterday.

    Trapped by Malays

    George Manville Fenn

  • As soon as I glanced at it I saw that I was in for a wigging.


    Anatole France

British Dictionary definitions for wigging



British slang a rebuke or reprimand
NZ the shearing of wool from the head of a sheep



an artificial head of hair, either human or synthetic, worn to disguise baldness, as part of a theatrical or ceremonial dress, as a disguise, or for adornment

verb wigs, wigging or wigged (tr)

obsolete to furnish with a wig
British slang to berate severely
See also wig out
Derived Formswigged, adjectivewigless, adjectivewiglike, adjective

Word Origin for wig

C17: shortened from periwig
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for wigging



1670s, shortened form of periwig. Meaning "person who wears a wig (professionally)" is from 1828. The verb meaning "to behave hysterically" (usually with out) is attested from 1955, from notion in to flip one's wig. Cf. dash my wig!, a former mild imprecation (1797), also wigs on the green (1856), Irish colloquial for "a fight or rumble" (because wigs are likely to get detached from owners in such an event).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wigging


In addition to the idiom beginning with wig

  • wig out

also see:

  • flip one's lid (wig)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.