English Tutor Nick P Word Origins (88) Big Wig


Hi this is Tutor Nick P and this is Word
Origins 88. The word origin today is “bigwig. ” Okay. Let’s take a look at the
note here. If we say that someone is a big wig, it means that he or she is a
very important person of power or authority, especially somebody in a
company or an organization. So we say somebody is a big wig. Okay. Let’s
continue. Sometimes this term is used in a
disparaging way. Like maybe sometimes we don’t like this person. We’re kind of
annoyed by them. Sometimes when we call them a bigwig … in a disparaging way
to show you don’t like them or look upon them unfavorably. All right. Let’s continue. The
origin of this term goes back to the 1600s. The first wigs seem to have taken
off in France. Remember here we say take off means became very popular in France.
King Louis the XIII started to go bald prematurely. So you know, at a young
age and started wearing a wig. So you could kind of say he set it off. Maybe he was a
little bit of a trendsetter. Soon after it became almost mandatory for anyone of
royalty, nobility or high standing in society to wear them. Okay. Basically
anyone who was anyone or anyone of importance or significance needed to
wear one. Wigs were very expensive and only the rich powerful and wealthy could
afford such an extravagance. Okay. Over time, the bigger and the higher one could
wear a wig , the more the more status it would be a symbol of. Thus the term big
wig was born. So that’s why they said they must be a big wig some person of
high importance basically. Okay. Good. And lawyers were also
expected to wear them. That’s why even in today … Today even in England we still see
that some lawyers still wear them from this very old tradition. And it must be hot
and we know even today those that wear them in England they are very expensive
those wigs. Okay let’s continue. The earliest use appears in the late 1700s.
Well here the earliest use means the earliest use of the term big wig. The
wigs probably started in like around the 1600s but you know, by the 1700 so we
could find the term in use. Okay. And we just have a couple of examples to cover
this. You need to make sure everything appears in order. Some of the big wigs
from headquarters are visiting our factory today. So if anything looked out
of order you know , somebody at the factory … the managers at the factory might
get in trouble or they might have some problems. They might have something said
to them. So when they know they’re coming, they try to make everything look good
before they get there. Some big wigs are coming and you got to make sure … no mess, no
nothing around. Okay. Number two. Some big wigs in the State Department decided to
cut our benefits. This is another way that you are kind of like annoyed at them.
This would be a typical way that we might use it. Okay. Anyway, I hope you got
it. I hope it was clear. I hope it was informative. Thank you for your time. Bye-bye..

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