Sheitels, Wigs, and Whigs

Real Human Hair Wigs in HistoryIn a past post, we discussed the rich history of wigs, whether synthetic or real human hair wigs. That history is as vast as the number of hairs on a human head, so we figured we'd tackle the topic some more.   The earliest known use of the word wig is from the 1500s, but at that time they called it parrucca or perruque. Imagine the advertisements. Look glamorous in a perruque by Pierre! Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? Eventually, the word morphed into periwig with periwigged being the proper description for wearers of this headgear. Periwig became wig and the rest is history.   Interestingly, the prevalence of wigs throughout history has caused the development of interesting wiggy expressions. If someone proclaims, "He's totally flipped his wig," he's employing a 20th century term for going completely bonkers. The Irish had a colloquialism in the 1800s for fighting. They called it "wigs on the green" since many fights resulted in everyone's wigs lying on the grass. In 1725, someone coined the phrase "big wig" to describe the important people who wore wigs as a sign of their wealth or stature. We still use the term today, though wigs are not necessarily a sign of stature anymore.   Contrary to popular belief, the Whig party had absolutely nothing to do with wigs. They may have worn them though.   Check in next time and learn more about the history of human hair wigs for women (or men)!


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