9 Grammatical Pitfalls
"nut with flared sides for turning with the thumb and forefinger;" so called for its shape. Meaning "weird person" recorded by 1989, probably not from the literal sense but from the secondary sense of nut, influenced perhaps by slang senses of wing in wing-ding "wild party," originally "fit, spasm" (1937). An earlier, British, sense of wingnut was "person with large, protruding ears" (1986).
To improvise; extemporize; act without sufficient preparation; fake it: Winging It, Coping Without Controllers/ He was confident of his ability to wing it, adjusting to counter her responses
[first form 1933+, second 1885+; fr the notion that an actor could learn his lines in the stage's wings,or be coached while standing there; wing the part is found by 1886]