Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Pilgarlic or Pill’d Garlic (A).

 Pilcher.Pilgrim Fathers (The). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Pilgarlic or Pill’d Garlic (A).
One whose hair has fallen off from dissipation. Stow says of one getting bald: “He will soon be a peeled garlic like myself.” Generally a poor wretch avoided and forsaken by his fellows. The editor of Notes and Queries says that garlic was a prime specific for leprosy, so that garlic and leprosy became inseparably associated. As lepers had to pill their own garlie, they were nicknamed Pil-garlics, and anyone shunned like a leper was so called like-wise. (To pill = to peel; see Gen. xxx. 37.)   1
   It must be borne in mind that at one time garlic was much more commonly used in England than it is now.   2
        “After this [feast] we jogged off to bed for the night; but never a bit could poor pilgarlic sleep one wink, for the everlasting jingle of bells.”—Rabelais: Pantagruel, v. 7.

 Pilcher.Pilgrim Fathers (The). 


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