Bigwig

Bigwig is an idiom that is several hundred years old. We will examine the meaning of the idiom bigwig, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A bigwig is an important person; the person may be important in government, society, business, or religion, among other things. For instance, a bigwig may be a prime minister, an important surgeon, the principal of a school, or a newspaper editor. The status of being a bigwig is relative to the community in which he is important. The idiom bigwig is a closed compound word. A wig is a false hairpiece, used to conceal baldness or change one’s appearance because of vanity or a need to disguise oneself. Wigs became popular among the French aristocracy under Louis XIII and this popularity continued through the 1700s. As one may imagine, the richer a man was, the bigger and more elaborate his wig. The word wig is an abbreviation of the word periwig, which was an Anglicization of the French word, perruque and the idiom bigwig came into use at the turn of the eighteenth century. The plural form of bigwig is bigwigs.

Examples

Police break up party in honor of Likud bigwig held in violation of virus rules (The Times of Israel)

Big B did not visit him when he was in jail and this did not go down well with the political bigwig. (The Deccan Herald)

“The Assistant”: Julia Garner stars in writer-director Kitty Green’s film about the day in the life of a young assistant to a bigwig in the entertainment industry, available on Hulu starting Monday. (The Tulsa World)