Foul smelling; noxious (especially of gas/vapours)
Early 17th century: from late Latin mephiticus, from mephitis ‘noxious exhalation’.
“We were left, choking in a fog of mephitic gas.”
Originally: a bald head; a bald-headed person. In later use also: a pitiable, lowly, or foolish person; a shabby or unkempt person. Frequently used without article, as though a proper name.
Early 16th century; earliest use found in John Skelton (c1460–1529), poet. In some forms apparently partly from pilled + garlic and partly from peeled + garlic; in some forms apparently partly from pill + garlic and partly from peel + garlic.