Davy Jones: Who was he?

We’ve all heard of the expression “Davy Jones’s Locker” being used to refer to the deepest part of the deep sea. The abode of the sailors of old who didn’t become old sailors, in other words. Where did the name come from, and what’s the association?

The shortests (and purportedly cutest) Monkee?

Here is the Word Detective’s take on it.

Quinion’s World Wide Words has this to say about it. (His article corresponds to the information in the OED.)

The Random House Word Maven is silent on the subject.

It would seem that noboby really knows this site gives some of the myths assosiated with the term. This is another pretty good myth site which discusses Davey. this one has some pretty neat-o definitions concerning pirates in general and includes your term. Sadly I never did find the orgin (or at least the first recording) of the term so dating it would be difficult. If I had to guess, and it is not an english translation from another myth, I would say late 17th early 18th century seeing as that was the heyday for pirates in general.

Here, however is the most current evidence :wink:

I apparantly now have (and always had) a date for the first recording, thanks tomndeb for Quinion’s link, I can’t believe I missed that one.:smack:

What? He was a member of The Monkees, right? I assume that he had a locker.

Actualy, there’s pretty good entry on him in Th Oxford Ditionary of th Sea that has an illustration froma book that shows him as some kind of devil/demon. Actually, it looks like someone dressed up as a very unconvincing devil/demon.

David Bowie’s real last name is Jones. He was known as Davy Jones early in his career.

A bit of trivia: “Locker” is a well-used term in the Navy. For example, reference is made in my dad’s USS Philippine Sea cuise book to the “potato locker”. This was the fantail of the ship. (I don’t remember, but I think it got its name because that’s where potatoes were supposedly stored.) There was a warning about pilots making too-shallow approaches, lest they “wind up in the potato locker”. Dad also playfully offered a “poke in the snot locker” for childish mischievousness. “How’d you like a poke in the snot locker?” = “How’d you like a punch in the nose?”