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Pasha of Three Tails

(A). There are three grades of pashas distinguished by the number of horse-tails on their standard. In war the horse-tail standard is carried before the pasha, and planted in front of his tent. The highest rank of pashas are those of three tails; the grand vizier is always ex officio such a pasha. Pashas of two tails are governors of provinces; it is one of these officers that we mean when we speak of a pasha in a general way. A pasha of one tail is a sanjak or lowest of provincial governors. (The word pasha is the Persian pa, support of Shah, the ruler.)

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