Where did the tradition of removing empty alcohol bottles from the table come from in Russia? They say, they say, to the deceased. In fact, the empty dishes, the keepers of traditions will tell you, should not be put under the table, but left, but be sure to put them horizontally. To the bewildered "why?" will answer with confidence experts from “What? Where? When? ”: In the old days, the bottles were flat, and each empty bottle overturned on the table meant that today the deceased would not be among the drinkers, since everyone drank to their health! Well, when the bottles began to be produced in a cylindrical shape, willy-nilly they had to be compiled under the table.
They used to say: "Put the dead man!", Now - "The dead man under the table!" By the way, the tradition is not only Russian. There is such an English song "Down among the dead men", where dead men are not "dead", but "empty bottles". That is, the meaning of the expression is to get drunk to the last deceased, when a person will be lying like a corpse under the table next to empty dishes.
According to another version, this tradition has a historical background. It all began thanks to the Cossacks who returned from the campaign of 1812-14 and visited Paris. However, in France, empty wine bottles can easily stand on the table. The custom arose due to the fact that in Parisian restaurants they did not take into account the number of released bottles. At the end of the meal, the waiters simply counted the number of empty bottles on the table and entered their value into the bill. In the Russian army, someone quickly figured out how to save money, and empty bottles were instantly sent under the table.