Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 12:31:50 -0500
From: Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UMR.EDU
Subject: Re: "wig out"
On l2/18/97 David Bergdahl asked about to "wig out," adding: "I've met
the term in novels by AA authors written in the 70's and early 80's. I
don't know if it's still current."
Information on this topic can be found in Clarence Major's _Juba to
Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang_ (Viking Pr., 1994):
"WIG, n. (1930s-1960s) a man or woman's natural hair that has been
processed or straightened; one's mentality, brain, skull, thoughts.
WIG, n. (1930s-1950s) in the jazz world, a highly respected musician,
respected because he or she 'wigs' people out--reaching them on a mental
level and causing reflection, rather than exciting them to dance.
WIG [ONE] OUT; WIGGED [ONE] OUT (1950s-1960s) in jazz, to excite or
thrill; respond with great enthusiasm; used also in the same way in street
culture--to delight, etc. Example: 'Man, Bags [Milt Jackson] really wigs me
out when he starts tapping that vibraphone like he's making tender love to
WIGGED OUT, adj. (1950s-1960s) to be extremely high on narcotics.
WIGGING, v. (1940S-1950s) in jazz, playing unusually innovative
music; talking strangely or doing something considered 'weird.'"
----Meanwhile, Milton "Mezz" Mezzrow's autobiography _Really the Blues_
(co-authored with Bernard Wolfe; 1946) presents in its glossary:
"WIG - head or hair
WIG TRIG - idea"
gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]umr.edu