Davy Jones's locker

Idioms & Phrases

Davy Jones's locker

Also, Davy's locker. The bottom of the sea, especially the grave of those who die at sea. For example, Caught out at sea during the hurricane, they thought they were heading for Davy Jones's locker. This term, first recorded in 1726, alludes to Davy Jones, a name given to the evil spirit of the sea. The ultimate origin of both Davy and Jones is disputed. A logical theory is that Jones referred to the biblical Jonah who was swallowed by a whale, and Davy was a corruption of a West Indian word for "devil."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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