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Dead Men


Empty bottles. Down among the dead men let me lie. Let me get so intoxicated as to slip from my chair, and lie under the table with the empty bottles. The expression is a witticism on the word spirit. Spirit means life, and also alcohol (the spirit of full bottles); when the spirit is out the man is dead, and when the bottle is empty its spirit is departed. Also, a loaf of bread smuggled into the basket for the private use of the person who carries the bread out is called a “dead man.”


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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Dead Hand (A)
Dead Heat
Dead Horse
Dead Languages
Dead Letter
Dead-letter Office (The)
Dead Lift
Dead Lights
Dead Lock
Dead Men
Dead Men’s Shoes
Dead Pan (The)
Dead Reckoning
Dead Ropes
Dead Sea
Dead-Sea Fruit
Dead Set
Dead Shares
Dead Water
Dead Weight