1675, 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), Ir. colloquial for "a fight or rumble" (since wigs are likely to get detached from owners in such an event).