Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Davy Jones's locker
The deepest depths of the ocean, especially as a grave for those who have died at sea. Tragically, many men from that battle in the Pacific Ocean are now in Davy Jones's locker.
keep up with the Joneses
To maintain the same lifestyle as one's neighbors or peers. A: "Why did she buy such an expensive car?" B: "Well, she lives in a wealthy part of town—I bet she just wants to keep up with the Joneses."
1. Literally, to physically hold or maintain something in an upright position or at a certain level. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is sometimes used between "keep" and "up." Do you think these pushpins will keep up the posterboard? Hopefully these braces will keep the structure up until we can come up with a more permanent solution.
2. To prevent someone from sleeping by making noise, distracting them, etc. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is often used between "keep" and "up." Please stop shouting! You'll keep up your mother, and she has an early day tomorrow. No, I don't mind if you read with the light one—it won't keep me up. Thinking about all the problems in the world keeps me up at night sometimes.
3. To maintain or adhere to an agreement. How can I trust you if you never keep up your end of the bargain?
4. To maintain something to an expected or acceptable level. Keeping up the exterior of the house has been a lot more work than I expected. Were you able to keep up your garden this year? I'd like to keep up my painting, but it's tough with two young kids.
5. To move or progress at the same rate as others. My leg was hurt, but I was able to keep up with the rest of the team during our run. Keeping up with the go-getters in this office is a real challenge, but I think you're up to it. You can follow me if you want, but try to keep up.
6. To continue doing something in the way one has been doing it. Often used as an imperative, especially in the phrases "keep it up" and "keep up the good work." Wow, these look great. Keep up the good work, James! I can't continue working these long hours. If I keep it up, I'll get burned out. If you keep this up, you're going to get expelled.
7. To stay informed about something or in touch with someone by following the latest developments or communicating regularly. It's so hard to keep up with the news these days, especially when a huge story breaks every day. Have you been keeping up with your cousins? What's Mary Kate up to these days?
go to Davy Jones's locker
To die at sea. Tragically, many men from that battle in the Pacific Ocean went to Davy Jones's locker.
slang A heroin addict; a junkie. John's nothing but a middling musician with a skag jones. He'll never make it anywhere if he doesn't get himself clean. A lot people in this area are suffering from a skag jones.
slang A heroin addict; a junkie. John's nothing but a middling musician with a scag jones. He'll never make it anywhere if he doesn't get himself clean. A lot people in this area are suffering from a scag jones.
Davy Jones's locker
the bottom of the sea, especially when it is a grave. They were going to sail around the world, but ended up in Davy Jones's locker. Most of the gold from that trading ship is in Davy Jones's locker.
keep someone up
1. Lit. to hold someone upright. Try to keep him up until I can get his bed made. Keep her up for a few minutes longer.
2. Fig. to prevent someone from going to bed or going to sleep. I'm sorry, was my trumpet keeping you up? The noise kept us up.
keep something up
1. Lit. to hold or prop something up. Keep your side of the trunk up. Don't let it sag. Keep up your side of the trunk.
2. Fig. to continue doing something. I love your singing. Don't stop. Keep it up. Please keep up your singing.
3. Fig. to maintain something in good order. I'm glad you keep the exterior of your house up. You keep up your house nicely.
keep up(with someone or something)
1. Lit. to advance at the same rate as someone or something; to be just as productive as someone or something. Don't work so fast. I can't keep up with you. You're running so fast that I cannot keep up with you. I don't make enough money to keep up with your spending.
2. Fig. to pay attention to the news about someone or something. I don't see the Smiths a lot since they moved, but I keep up with them by phone. I try to keep up with current events.
keep up with the Joneses
Fig. to try to match the lifestyle of one's neighbors. I am tired of trying to keep up with the Joneses. Let's just move if we can't afford to live here. We never try to keep up with the Joneses.
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."
1. Also, keep up with. Proceed at the same pace, continue alongside another, as in We try to keep up with the times. [First half of 1600s] This usage, also put as keep pace, appears in the phrase keeping up with the Joneses, which was coined in 1913 by cartoonist Arthur R. Momand for the title of a series in the New York Globe. It means "trying to match the lifestyle of one's more affluent neighbors or acquaintances." For example, Their buying a new van is just another attempt to keep up with the Joneses.
2. Support, sustain, as in They're trying to keep up their spirits while they wait for news of the crash. [Late 1600s] Also see keep one's chin up.
3. Maintain in good condition, as in Joan really kept up the property. [Mid-1500s] This usage also appears in the idiom keep up appearances, meaning "to maintain a good front, make things look good even if they're not," as in She was devastated by his bad prognosis but is trying hard to keep up appearances for their children . [Mid-1700s]
4. Persevere, carry on, prolong, as in Keep up the good work, or How long will this noise keep up? [Early 1500s] Also see keep it up.
5. Also, keep up with; keep up on. Stay in touch, remain informed. For example, Ann and I haven't seen each other since college, but we keep up through our annual Christmas letters , or We subscribe to three papers so as to keep up on current events. [c. 1900]
6. keep someone up. Cause someone to remain out of bed, as in He's keeping up the children beyond their bedtime. [Mid-1700s]
keep up with the JonesesINFORMAL
If someone tries to keep up with the Joneses, they deliberately buy or do the same things as the people around them so that they appear as successful as them. Her mother, Louise, was very keen on keeping up with the Joneses, and through much of her teens Linda accepted what she now calls `these false values'. Of course, in this desperate attempt to keep up with the Joneses, they are all the more likely to end up poor. Note: You usually use this expression to show disapproval. Note: This expression comes from the title of a comic strip by Arthur Momand, which was first published in the New York `Globe' in 1913.
go to Davy Jones's lockerbe drowned at sea.
Davy Jones is identified in Tobias Smollett's Peregrine Pickle ( 1751 ) as ‘the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep’, but the origin of the name is uncertain.
keep up with the Jonesestry to maintain the same social and material standards as your friends or neighbours.
This phrase originated as a comic-strip title, ‘Keeping up with the Joneses—by Pop’ in the New York Globe ( 1913 ). Jones , one of the most common British family names, is used as a generic name for neighbours or presumed social equals.
keep up with the ˈJoneses(informal, disapproving) try to have all the possessions and social achievements that your neighbours or other people around you have, especially by buying what they buy: First the Smiths got a swimming pool, and now their neighbours, the Sinclairs, are building one. It’s silly the way people always have to keep up with the Joneses.
Jones is a very common surname, and is used to refer to neighbours in general.
1. To preserve or sustain something: We kept up the appearance of friendship even though we were mad at each other. The couple kept appearances up even though they had separated.
2. To maintain something in good condition: He did a good job of keeping up the property. The community kept up the old church.
3. To persevere in doing something; carry on doing something: I asked her to stop yelling, but she kept it up. Keep up the good work!
4. To continue at a steady level or pace, especially a significant level or pace: The snow kept up all day.
5. To maintain a value or level equal to that of something, even as that value or level increases: The number of new TVs that arrived didn't keep up with the demand. The scarcity of available land keeps up the demand for it.
6. To match some competitor or perceived competitor: I kept up with the leader of the race until the very end, and so I came in second place.
7. To cause someone to remain awake: The noise from the construction site kept me up all night.
8. keep up on To remain adequately informed: He loved to keep up on the gossip by reading the tabloids.
1. n. a thing; a problem. (A generic name for an unknown person or thing.) This get-rich-quick jones will land you in the joint, Lefty.
2. n. a drug habit; drug addiction. (see also skag jones.) That jones is really riding that guy.
3. n. a desire for someone or something; a craving. He has a real jones for chocolate.
4. tv. to crave something. He’s jonesing chocolate pretty bad.
skag jonesand scag jones
n. an addiction to heroin. (Drugs. Here jones is a “thing” = craving.) She has a serious skag jones.
See skag jones
keeping up with the Joneses
Making an effort to match your neighbors' social and financial status. If you bought a Chevrolet, but the guy who lived across the street bought a Cadillac, you wouldn't, vehicularly speaking, be considered in the same league. But if he took his wife and kids to Europe for a month and you took your wife and kids to Europe for a month, you were keeping up with the Joneses, no matter what your neighbor's last name was. The phrase came from a 1913 newspaper carton strip “Keep with the Joneses,” the name being as ubiquitous a last name as “Joe” was in phrases that used that first name. (See also status seeker.)