Davy Jones’ Locker is a reference for the floor of the sea or its bottom. Davy Jones’s Locker is also an idiom for death at the lowest level of the sea and is know to be the resting place of sailors, pirates and shipwrecks. To have been taken to the bottom of the sea by a man-eating mermaid and to have gone to Davey Jones’s Locker is synonymous for death. Dave Jones’s Locker is also used in a euphemistic manner for drowning or having been taken to the seas depths and consigned there as in to have been sent to Davey Jones’ Locker. A final resting place.
Davey Jones’ Locker and its origins can be traced to the devil as in a Luciferian sailor as wells as a 19th-century dictionary tracing Davy Jones to and as a “ghost of Jonah”. Other explanations of this sea-going superstition or the plight of a drunken sailor has it connections with being Shanghied or being clubbed and taken to sea while intoxicated and pressed into service by pub owners who kidnapped sailors.
The earliest literary reference to Davey Jones’ Locker and its negative association occurs in the Four Years Voyages of Capt. George Roberts, by the author Daniel Defoe which was published as early as 1726 in the city of London. An excerpt of from this Davey Jones’ Locker literary work is cited below.
Some of Loe’s Company said, They would look out some things, and give me along with me when I was going away; but Ruffel told them, they should not, for he would toss them all into Davy Jones’s Locker if they did.— Daniel Defoe.
An early description of Davy Jones occurs in Tobias Smollett’s title The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle that was published in late 1751:
This same Davy Jones, according to sailors, is the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep, and is often seen in various shapes, perching among the rigging on the eve of hurricanes:, ship-wrecks, and other disasters to which sea-faring life is exposed, warning the devoted wretch of death and woe.— Tobias Smollett
Demonized in the story, Dave Jones is described as having saucer eyes, three rows of teeth, horns, a tail, and blue smoke coming from his nostrils which must have been a site to sea. Here is a classical story of its time with hideous references to a characters whose appearance would cite death at the bottom of the sea.