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Admiral of the Blue

A butcher who dresses in blue to conceal blood-stains. A tapster also is so called, from his blue apron. A play on the rear-admiral of the British navy, called “Admiral of the Blue (Flag).”

As soon as customers begin to stir
The Admiral of the Blue cries, “Coming, Sir.”

Poor Robin, 1731

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