E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Salute (2 syl.).
According to tradition, on the triumphant return of Maximilian to Germany, after his second campaign, the town of Augsburg ordered 100 rounds of cannon to be discharged. The officer on service, fearing to have fallen short of the number, caused an extra round to be added. The town of Nuremberg ordered a like salute, and the custom became established.
Salute, in the British navy, between two ships of equal rank, is made by firing an equal number of guns. If the vessels are of unequal rank, the superior fires the fewer rounds.
Royal salute, in the British navy, consists (1) in firing twenty-one great guns, (2) in the officers lowering their swordpoints, and (3) in dipping the colours.