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

 Pilcher.Pilgrim Fathers (The). 
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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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