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Wigs on the green refers to a fight, brawl or fracas, or to a difference of opinion that could lead to fisticuffs. It often appears as “there’ll be wigs on the green”, as a warning (or a prediction) that an altercation is likely to occur.

It is originally Irish, dating from the eighteenth century, when men usually wore wigs. If a fight started, the first thing that happened was that the wigs of those involved would be knocked off and would roll incongruously about on the grass, to the amusement of bystanders and the embarrassment of participants.

It has fallen out of use in modern times but continues to be used by intellectuals especially in Ireland.
Will there be wigs on the green at the meeting tonight do you think?
by netwhizkid January 25, 2008
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