Etymology
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flip (n.2)

sailors' hot drink usually containing beer, brandy and sugar, 1690s, from flip (v.); so called from notion of it being "whipped up" or beaten.

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flip (n.1)

1690s, "a flick, a snap;" see flip (v.). In reference to an overturning of the body, probably short for flip-flap (see flip-flop) "somersault in which the performer throws himself over on hands and feet alternately," 1670s, originally a move in (male) dancing.

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wig (n.)

1670s, shortened form of periwig. Meaning "person who wears a wig (professionally)" is from 1828.

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wig (v.)

1826, "supply with a wig," from wig (n.). The earlier verb was bewig (see bewigged). The meaning "to behave hysterically" (usually with out) is attested from 1955, perhaps from notion in flip one's wig. Compare dash my wig!, a former mild imprecation (1797), also wigs on the green (1856), Irish colloquial for "a fight or rumble" (because wigs are likely to get detached from owners in such an event). The verb also had a colloquial sense of "scold severely," attested by 1829, perhaps related to these. Related: Wigged; wigging.

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flip (v.)

1590s "to fillip, to toss with the thumb," imitative, or perhaps a thinned form of flap, or else a contraction of fillip (q.v.), which also is held to be imitative. Meaning "toss as though with the thumb" is from 1610s. Meaning "to flip a coin" (to decide something) is by 1879. Sense of "get excited" is first recorded 1950; flip (one's) lid "lose one's head, go wild" is from 1949, American English; variant flip (one's) wig attested by 1952, but the image turns up earlier in popular record reviews ["Talking Boogie. Not quite as wig-flipping as reverse side--but a wig-flipper" Billboard, Sept. 17, 1949]. Related: Flipped. Flipping (adj.) as euphemism for fucking is British slang first recorded 1911 in D.H. Lawrence. Flip side (of a gramophone record) is by 1949.

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flip (adj.)

"talkative and disrespectfully smart," see flippant.

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flip-top (adj.)

1955, of product packaging, from flip (v.) + top (n.1).

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flip-flop (n.)

also flip flop, "plastic thong beach sandal," by 1970, imitative of the sound of walking in them. Flip-flap had been used in various senses, mostly echoic or imitative of a kind of loose flapping movement, since 1520s:

Flip-flaps, a peculiar rollicking dance indulged in by costermongers, better described as the double shuffle; originally a kind of somersault. [Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1864]

Flip-flop in the general sense of "complete reversal of direction" dates from 1900; it began to be used in electronics in the 1930s in reference to switching circuits that alternate between two states. As a verb by 1897. Flop (n.) in the sense "a turn-round, especially in politics" is from 1880.

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bewigged (adj.)

"wearing a wig," 1774, from be- + wig (n.).

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flippant (adj.)

c. 1600, "talkative, nimble in talk;" 1670s, "displaying unbecoming levity," apparently an extended form of flip (v.). The ending is perhaps modeled on other adjectives in -ant or a relic of the Middle English present participle ending -inde. Shortened form flip is attested from 1847. Related: Flippantly.

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