Learn English slang | Syrup of figs

Learn English slang with the popular rhyming expression syrup of figs. What does it mean if someone is wearing a syrup? It's also possible to say that someone is wearing an Irish, which is short for Irish jig. Watch this video lesson to understand and use English slang better…

It might not be so common these days for men to wear a syrup (wig), but check out this really funny Pathé News clip from 1968 which shows a party for men to try out different wigs to make them look younger!

Even though wigs are not so popular these days (at least for men!) there are quite a few famous men who don't want to admit to being bald. How many of these famous people did you know actually wear a syrup?

During my 'extensive' research for this unusual slang expression, I found a company in the US called Syrup Hair that makes and sells really cool, modern wigs, hence the name of the company. You can see the definition of the expression syrup and their reason for choosing such an appropriate name right on their website.

So what do you do to learn English slang? Put your ideas in the comments below…



I don't know if a lot of people wear wigs these days, but the expression syrup of figs rhymes with 'wig' and we often shorten it down to 'syrup', so if you see someone, if you see a man for example wearing a wig and it looks very strange, looks very unusual, doesn't look natural, you could say: "That guy's wearing a syrup!" His hair doesn't look real, it doesn't look natural. "He's wearing a syrup!" "I don't think his hair's real. I think he's wearing a syrup!"

We sometimes use the expression Irish jig as well, which again rhymes with wig. So, you can call a wig a syrup or an Irish jig. He's wearing a syrup because he thinks it makes him look younger or he's bald. He's trying to hide the fact he's bald by wearing a syrup.