Whig vs wig

Photo of author


The words Whig and wig are pronounced similarly and have similar spellings, but very different meanings. We will look at the definitions of the words Whig and wig, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A Whig is a member of a particular British political party, the Whigs. The Whigs supported a government where the wishes of Parliament were supreme, as opposed to the king. The Whig party developed into the Liberal party, in Britain. In the early years of the United States, a Whig party formed that eventually morphed into the Republican party. The term Whig is probably derived from the Scottish word whiggamore, a word for a particular type of Scottish rebel. Note that Whig is a proper name and is therefore capitalized.

A wig is a false hairpiece, used to conceal baldness or change one’s appearance because of vanity or a need to disguise oneself. Actors often wear wigs, as well as British judges and barristers. Wigs may be made out of human hair, animal hair or synthetic fibers. The word wig is an abbreviation of the word periwig, which was an Anglicization of the French word, perruque.


I confess little knowledge of President Fillmore, the last Whig Party president (1850 to 1853), but I have been an admirer of the Cognac-style brandies the company keeps producing. (The New York Times)

For Peshwa Bajirao, he shaved his head, for Khilji he will be wearing a shoulder-length wig. (The Times of India)

A salon-style wig room at the newly built Northwest Wisconsin Cancer Center of Memorial Medical Center in Ashland, Wis., offers cancer patients a boost of self-confidence. (The Superior Telegram)