Davy Jones’ Locker

Meanings of “Davy Jones’ Locker”

The phrase “Davy Jones’ locker” means the bottom of the sea that is a mythical place where all the mariners rest after they are drowned in the sea.

Origin of “Davy Jones’ Locker”

The phrase “Davy Jones’ locker” has been derived from several myths ranging from Biblical Jonah to Davy Jones, a shipman. However, its first printed usage appeared in The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, a novel written by Tobias Smollett and first published in 1751. The phrase is used as “This same Davy Jones, according to the mythology of sailors, is the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep. ”Later it was also used in Naval Chronicle in 1803 as “Davy Jones’s locker in its existing use. Since then, the phrase has been used in almost the same sense and same spellings, except standardization of the usage of apostrophe in it.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Davy Jones Locker by William Wallace

She said there’s plenty more fish in the sea.
And said please try and forget about me.
Then she left without a goodbye dear.
And without a goodbye tear.
I felt numb.
And like a useless loveless bum.
That night in bed I was all alone.
And hoping she would call my mobile phone.
But no call.
And into a sad sleep I did deeply fall.
The night did pass, and morning came.
This place my home was not the same.
No more it felt calm and at ease.
I felt a cold unwanted breeze.
She said there was plenty more fish in the sea.
Unfortunately that’s where the coastguard will soon find me.

The beautiful ballad sheds light on the life of the person who is bewitched by the girl, who asks him to fish in the sea, but leaves him alone without saying goodbye to him. After feeling numb, he tries to call her from his mobile, but the call drops, and he goes to sleep, feeling uncomfortable. The next morning, he feels that he is at some other place where the coastguard will soon arrest him for illegally crossing the border. The ballad seems to be the modern version of John Keatspoem “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” However, the phrase used in the title is a metaphorical representation throughout this story.

Example #2

Davy Jones’ Locker by Richard Hartshorn

How famous can one be
ere it all comes crashing down?
Pierced by the reef and drowned with grief,
this will be the last letter I write.
Can a man change the stars without studying the sky?
The sand burns me when I think I’ve forgotten all of you.
Just let me go this time.
Glory beckons, I must be going
No pastures, but crimson summer, pain and relief
death and remembrance
Next time you go fishing, I hope you catch my boot.
Davy Jones’ Locker”

This stanza talks about the speaker. Though his ship is wrecked, proving him as an unfortunate person who is going to drown shortly, he knows there will be only remembrance and death after him. Therefore, he asks the reader that if he goes fishing next time, he may catch his boots instead of the fish. The phrase is used in the last line to remind the angler of its importance that seems the use of an allusion. It points to his death in the sea.

Example #3

Davy Jones Lockerby Bill Cantrell

Love and tears, life and death
Emotions on the oceans breath
Sailors lay upon its sandy floor

Back and forth the ocean churns,
The tides won’t let them rest
Still, the hungry waters wanting more

Loved ones flashed before their eyes
With tears, a prayer they yelled
Into the cold and deep they did descend

Their last words have been gathered
And placed inside a shell
Hear their voice within the eerie wind

This short poem discusses the life of sailors stating that when the oceans breathe, their tides take down all the ships floating in that area. This is the time when the sailors pray for their salvation while going to the depths of the oceans with disappointed eyes. It could happen that the seashells preserve their last prayers. The poem seems a metaphorical representation of the phrase.

Example #4

Adventure of Sam, the Black Fisherman by Julian Hawthorne

“He came,” said he, “in a storm, and he went in a storm; he came in the night, and he went in the night; he came nobody knows whence, and he has gone nobody knows where. For aught I know he has gone to sea once more on his chest, and may land to bother some people on the other side of the world; though it’s a thousand pities,” added he, “if he has gone to Davy Jones’s locker, that he had not left his own locker behind him.”

It revolves around the mysterious arrival and departure of Sam, the African American fisherman. This passage sheds light on his final departure with a misgiving that it may be that he has drowned in the sea but he has not left anything behind him for his siblings. The phrase has been used as an irony as well as a direct meaning.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “The dead bodies of all the sailors of that ship must be in Davy Jones’ locker now.”

Example #2: “This part of the Atlantic is almost a Davy Jones’ locker due to the devastation that the tides wreak with the passing ships. Thousands of people have drowned here.”

Example #3: “Danny has come alive like a dead walking like from Davy Jones’ locker of the olden times.”

Example #4: “Davy Jones’ Locker did not look like a myth or story anymore. After hearing from the locals about what really happened ages ago, I and Larry began believing in it.”

Example #5: “ They say Jacob has not risen up from Davy Jones’ locker. He is very much here and may arrive any time.”