phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Davy Jones's Locker

Posted by Henry on May 22, 2003

In Reply to: Davy Jones's Locker posted by ESC on May 22, 2003

: : : Can you please tell me how this term originated and what it means? Thank you,
: : : SAX

: : It means the bottom of the ocean. I'm almost sure this term was discussed here not too long ago and an explanation was posted. I tried to find it in the archives, but the search function wasn't working properly. Searching with "locker" brought up a bunch of irrelevant links.

: DAVY JONES' LOCKER -- "Maybe there was once an Englishman whose name was really Davy Jones. Perhaps he was the barman of the sixteenth century ballad, 'Jones Ale Is Newe,' and the locker, dreaded by seamen, may have been where he stored his ale. That is speculation, however. Actually the source of the name and the reason for bestowing it upon the bottom of the sea, especially as the grave of those who have perished in the sea -- 'gone to Davy Jones's locker' -- cannot be fathomed. The first mention of Davy Jones -- his locker came later -- is to be found in 'The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, written by Tobias Smollett in 1751." From "Heavens to Betsy" by Charles Earle Funk (1955, Harper & Row).

You can understand why the phrase became popular. Once you have lost something overboard, you can't get it back. It is in the possession of some one else.