Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 10:20:03 -0500 From: Jesse T Sheidlower Subject: wig out I hadn't been reading the messages in this thread, so excuse me for jumping in so late. I'm surprised that many people seem unfamiliar with the expression _wig out,_ or with its age--I've always regarded it as a stereotypical 1960s term, along with _groovy_ and the like. As with _groovy,_ _wig out_ was originally a jazz-world expression. I don't have access to our W files right now but there's no question that the word was in use in the early 1950s at latest. It appears in _American Speech_ XXX in a list of Wayne State U. slang in 1955. The meaning runs the usual gamut--'to be excited', 'to lose control', etc. The sense that Jerry Cohen quotes from USA Today, apparently meaning 'tune out', is an anomaly in my experience. I don't think of _wig out_ as being AAVE. It probably does come from _flip one's lid/wig,_ which we have in HDAS from the early 1930s. Jesse Sheidlower Random House Reference