WHAT'S IN A NAME, A WORD OR A SAYING?  click on the button for a sample displaying

                and return to this point, a source of great knowledge

for much less familiar "things" for which we can forage.

Is your name GREEN or LEE or JONES or DAWSON, and if not, do you know of anybody with those names?  In my telephone book there are thousands of them!

They are all directly and CLOSELY associated with the Royal Navy, and having been told that, I am sure that you have guessed at DAVY JONES, or Davy Jones's Locker, and guessed correctly, and also FIDDLERS GREEN, which are both mentioned in "Jackspeak".

Davy Jones's Lockeris a much used expression associated with death and having a watery grave, but it is not quite as simple as that. You see, Davy Jones is not exactly a nice man, and he collects not dead sailors per se, but dead PIRATES only - 'baddies'. According to the OED [Oxford English Dictionary] - that's the one that takes two bootnecks to carry and is a little more authoritative than most other published articles -

"Davy Jones (______ _______). Also simply Davy.
In nautical slang: The spirit of the sea; the sailors' devil. Davy Jones's (or Davy's) locker: the ocean, the deep, esp. as the grave of those who perish at sea.
1751 Smollett Per. Pic. xiii. (Brewer), This same Davy Jones, according to the mythology of sailors, is the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep."

Thus, if you are a 'goodie',  a Royal Sailor perhaps, then Davy Jones is not for you, much the same as heaven and hell to a believer, and you would have gone [will go] to Fiddlers Green. Returning to the OED again, it rather looks as though we "good" but dead sailors share Fiddlers Green with others including animals -

"b. Fiddler's Green (Naut.): _a sailor's elysium, in which wine, women, and song figure prominently' (Farmer).
1825 Sporting Mag. XVI. 404 My grannan_used to tell me that animals, when they departed this life, were destined to be fixed in Fidler's Green.
1836 W. H. Maxwell Capt. Blake I. xv. note, It is_believed that tailors and musicians after death are cantoned in a place called _Fiddler's Green'.
1837 Marryat Dog-fiend ix, We shape a course for Fiddler's Green.
1883 J. D. J. Kelly in Harper's Mag. Aug. 441/2 The pilotless narrows which lead to Fiddler's Green, where all good sailors go."

That leaves just the names DAWSON and LEE, and guess what, I cant find them in 'Jackspeak'.

Not only are they women, but both were called NANCY which as we all know, is a pet-name for Ann or Anne. NANCY DAWSON was a prostitute {and later a wife} and NANCY LEE was a wife. This is the OED input for Ms Dawson -

"Nancy Dawson (______ _______). ? Obs.
[See quot. 1890.]
A sailor's dance or song; a nancy-boy.
1766 C. Anstey New Bath Guide ix. 64 With what Grace his Gloves he draws on, Claps, and calls up Nancy Dawson: Me thro' ev'ry Dance conducting.
1771 Smollett Humph. Cl. I. 176, I can dance a Welsh jig, and Nancy Dawson.
_1810 W. Hickey Mem. (1960) xxv. 418 The dragoons_marched off_the fifes playing _Nancy Dawson'.
1840 Family Mag. (Cincinnati) 332/2 She sailed through the waltz like an elephant dancing _Nancy Dawson' in the ring of a menagerie.
1890 Barrère & Leland Dict. Slang II. 81/1 Nancy Dawson, a name for a molly, an effeminate youth, apathetic, &c._ The original Nancy Dawson was a noted prostitute, on whom there is a song still current among sailors."

From Nancy Dawson comes nancy-boy, an effeminate male youth or man/ a homosexual man - see 1890 above.


"This person was the Nancy mentioned by Alice in her conversation with Lilly. Her original name had been Nancy Dawson, but she had married one of the smugglers of the name of Corbett. Her original profession, previous to her marriage, we will not dwell upon; suffice it to say, that she was the most celebrated person of that class in Portsmouth, both for her talent and extreme beauty. Had she lived in the days of King Charles II, and had he seen her, she would have been more renowned than ever was Eleanor Gwynne; even as it was, she had been celebrated in a song, which has not been lost to posterity. After a few years of dissipated life, Nancy reformed, and became an honest woman, and an honest wife. By her marriage with the smuggler, she had become one of the fraternity, and had taken up her abode in the cave, which she was not sorry to do, as she had become too famous at Portsmouth to remain there as a married woman. Still, she occasionally made her appearance, and to a certain degree kept up her old acquaintances, that she might discover what was going on—very necessary information for the smugglers. She would laugh and joke, and have her repartee as usual, but in other points she was truly reformed. Her acquaintance was so general, and she was such a favourite, that she was of the greatest use to the band, and was always sent over to Portsmouth when her services were required. It was supposed there, for she had reported it, that she had retired to the Isle of Wight, and lived there with her husband, who was a pilot, and that she came over to Portsmouth occasionally, to inquire after her old friends, and upon business."

This is the music for the dance Nancy Dawson NANCY DAWSON.mid, which is sometimes used for "round and round the mulberry bush" when it is called "Cheerily Man". The words to the song are vague but go something like these:- Of all the girls in our town,
The red, the black, the fair, the brown,
That dance and prance it up and down,
There's none like Nancy Dawson. etc.

And finally to Nancy Lee. If you have a Manual of Seamanship VOL 1 of 1951, then turn to page 263 {Naval Ceremonial} and under 'Ceremony Ashore' you will see the reference to Nancy Lee. Look at this file nancy lee. Good hunting.