Also found in: Dictionary.
1. An empty bottle from an alcoholic beverage. The yard was littered with dead soldiers the morning after that wild party.
2. A cigarette butt. I was annoyed to find some dead soldiers on the ground, even though there was an ashtray nearby.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Also, dead man. An empty liquor, wine, or beer bottle, as in Their trash barrel's full of dead soldiers; they must drink a lot, or That dead man sticking out of your pocket alerted the officer to the fact that you'd been drinking. Dead man has been slang for "empty bottle" since the late 1600s but has been largely replaced by dead soldier, dating from the late 1800s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
dead soldierand dead man and dead marine and dead one
1. n. an empty liquor or beer bottle. Toss your dead soldiers in the garbage, please. There’s a dead one under the bed and another in the fireplace!
2. n. a cigarette butt. (Less common than sense 1) The bum found a dead soldier on the ground and picked it up.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.