Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Admiral,

 Admirable Doctor (Doctor admirdbilis).Admiral of the Blue. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Admiral,
 
corruption of Amir-al. Milton, speaking of Satan, says:—   1
       
“His spear (to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some tall amiral, were but a wand)
He walked with.”—Paradise Lost, i. 292.
   The word was introduced by the Turks or Genoese in the twelfth century, and is the Arabic Amir with the article al (lord or commander); as Amir-al-ma (commander of the water), Amir-al-Omra (commander of the forces), Amir-al-Mminim (commander of the faithful).   2
   English admirals used to be of three classes, according to the colour of their flag—   3
   Admiral of the Red, used to hold the centre in an engagement.   4
   Admiral of the White, used to hold the van.   5
   Admiral of the Blue, used to hold the rear.   6
   The distinction was abolished in 1864; now all admirals carry the white flag.   7
   Admirals are called Flag Officers.   8
 


 Admirable Doctor (Doctor admirdbilis).Admiral of the Blue. 

 
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