Green’s Dictionary of Slang

soldier n.

1. [early–mid-19C] in plays on the ‘red coat’.

(a) (also soldier in the salt) a red herring.

(b) a boiled lobster.

(c) (W.I.) a crayfish.

(d) a bloater.

2. [1930s] (US) a term of address, usu. to one whose name one does not know.

3. in prison/Und. uses.

(a) [1930s] (US prison) a lookout man during a burglary.

(b) [1960s+] (US Mafia) a lower echelon member of a Mafia family, the run-of-the-mill gangsters who fight the gang wars.

(c) a hired killer.

(d) [1990s+] (Aus./US prison/Und.) a member of a prison gang.

4. [1940s] (US) a dollar.

5. [1970s+] (UK black) a member of a (teen) gang.

6. [2010s] (UK black) the penis.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

soldier’s bottle (n.) [orig. naut. jargon; the presumption being that soldiers either drink excessively or need alcohol to fortify their courage]

[late 17C–early 19C] a very large bottle.

soldier’s farewell (n.) (also lag’s farewell)

[late 19C+] ‘goodbye, good luck and fuck you!’; ‘hello, how are you and fuck you!’.

soldier’s joy (n.) [note naut. jargon soldier’s joy, pease pudding]

[mid-19C–1900s; 2000s] masturbation.

soldier’s maund (n.)

see under maund n.

soldiers on horseback (n.)

[late 19C] (US short order) fishballs and dropped eggs.

soldier’s pomatum (n.) [pomatum, pomade; thus a sneer at soldiers who cannot afford to dress their hair with anything better than tallow]

[late 18C–mid-19C] a piece of tallow or animal-fat candle.

soldier’s supper (n.) [the soldier’s last meal of the day was tea; there was no supper]

[late 19C] nothing; a drink of water and a cigarette or pipe.

soldier’s thigh (n.) [military poverty]

[mid–late 19C] an empty pocket.

soldier’s wash (n.) [the privations of the battlefield]

[20C+] the washing of one’s face with a scoop of water in cupped hands rather than using a flannel.

In phrases

dead soldier (n.) (also fallen soldier)

1. [late 19C+] an empty bottle; thus half-dead soldier, a partially empty bottle.

2. US drugs an empty crack vial.