flotsam and jetsam

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flotsam and jetsam

 
1. Lit. the floating wreckage of a ship and its cargo, or floating cargo deliberately cast overboard to stabilize a ship in a rough sea. All sorts of flotsam and jetsam washed up on the beach.
2. Fig. worthless matter; worthless encumbrances. His mind is burdened with the flotsam and jetsam of many years of poor instruction and lax study habits. Your report would be better if you could get rid of a lot of the flotsam and jetsam and clean up the grammar a bit.
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flotsam and jetsam

people or things which are not wanted or have no value
Usage notes: Flotsam and jetsam are the pieces of broken wood and other waste material found on the beach or floating on the sea.
Drug addicts, the homeless, all are viewed as the flotsam and jetsam of today's society.
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flotsam and jetsam

1. Discarded odds and ends, as in Most of our things have been moved to the new house, but there's still some flotsam and jetsam to sort . [Mid-1800s]
2. Destitute, homeless individuals, as in The mayor was concerned about the flotsam and jetsam of the inner city. [Second half of 1900s] Both words originated in 17th-century sailing terminology. Flotsam literally meant "wreckage or cargo that remains afloat after a ship has sunk." Jetsam meant "goods thrown overboard from a ship in danger of sinking in order to give it more buoyancy." Both literal meanings remain current, although the distinction between them is often forgotten.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In the winter, more flotsam would be carried north following the coast toward Alaska, Barth said, whereas a summer arrival would carry more of it south past Oregon and down to California.
In the book's final chapters, the authors describe a kind of flotsam that would have been unrecognizable to early seafarers: plastic trash.
What: Book signing and reading by Loree Griffin Burns, author of "Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam and the Science of Ocean Motion"
As this process got underway, central banks in the euro-system would find themselves with a flotsam of notes as in the staged withdrawal process, and this would be dealt with similarly (under a seigniorage agreement between Holland and the EU).
Everything found its use: children collected flotsam from the sea coast which was turned into the mobiles which now decorate the centre's cafe
Such images contrast nicely with Benes's Warholian "veneration" of such pop flotsam as a fork used by actor Steven Van Zandt of The Sopranos.
Our generation is not so lucky in regard to the mental flotsam that occasionally rises to the surface of our internal seas.
Researchers from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation tracking marine debris in the North Pacific found that plastic flotsam was more abundant than zooplankton, the tiny (often microscopic), marine animals near the bottom of the ocean food chain.
But the Coastguard insisted there was no evidence of a collision and flotsam found near the serach area could not be identified as belonging to the boat.
As a result, theological books are at premium for Burma's seminaries and Bible colleges, with libraries pieced together from the flotsam and jetsam of what happens to be available, mostly books left over from the pre-1966 days of the missionaries, or carried in by visitors and returning travelers, he said.
As for the stock parts that are the flotsam and jetsam of Saleen's production system, the company has adjusted its approach over time to that potential source of waste.
Or is she, at her low tide, dragging up the flotsam and jetsam of previously encoded behaviors: tears, grimaces, terror, random words, all signifying nothing?
Customers entering the Bedspread Kingdom were met by the king himself, often dressed in royal robes and crown, holding court over a melange of bedspreads, off-price textiles and other flotsam and jetsam.
We are not speaking here of a profound religious revelation" but of "a catch-basin of religious flotsam and jetsam, a vast undigested (and largely indigestible) pudding of ideas, beliefs, feelings, and practices that appeals largely to those who no longer possess, or who have lost, the discerning eye that orthodoxy demands.
Payaw" in the Philippines is a flotsam made of bamboo and attracts many species of Carangidae (Ibrahim et al.