Pilgarlio

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 likewise. (To pill = to peel; see Gen. xxx. 37.)

It must be borne in mind that at one time garlic was much more commonly used in England than it is now.

“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.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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