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 ?
The themed fashion show - entitled Flotsam and Jetsam - will be held at the Northumberland College in Ashington on January 24.
The flotsam and jetsam have left the building - let the battle commence.
Do the flotsam and jetsam in their tents feel any affinity to the teachings of Jesus?
I've must have heard it umpteen times today, These celebs keep repeating it like parrots You would think it was the only word they can say They've give it a real ear bashing on the telly In fact it's driving me insane It's nearly as bad as those world cup vuvuzelas And you must admit they were an absolute pain Remember it was the same with awesome Another word to put mildly, I wasn't very fond You can bet your boots it's not the last of this verbal flotsam and jetsam That keeps drifting over here from across the pond.
FOR years they have been treated as the flotsam and jetsam of our society.
The usual flotsam and jetsam of everyday adult life - money worries, kid worries, that sort of thing - sometimes make me long for a time when responsibility was just a word in a school spelling test.
The black kitten, aged 10 months, was discovered floating amid flotsam and jetsam just metres from rapids on the River Taff.
Surveying the flotsam and jetsam of his own daily life, British painter James White catalogues objects that occupy interstitial space, the remnants of activity or the harbingers of things to come.
There are serious messages among this humorous flotsam and jetsam - one reminds us that the places where we are born and
MacAskill said: "We need to remove the flotsam and jetsam from prisons to allow them to focus on those who need to be there and be punished.
Storytellers Flotsam and Jetsam take the audience into such a believable deep sea world you feel like having to hold your breath to stay underwater.
Americans grow 'richer' in SUVs, flat screen TVs, and other flotsam and jetsam (that comes mostly from Asia), while Asians grow richer in U.
No address, no info means this one rides out life in the flotsam and jetsam of 'zine purgatory
That means flotsam and jetsam is costing Londoners on average pounds 31,320.
At Covehythe, south of Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast in the 1920s, there was found among the flotsam and jetsam that litter the beach at low tide a slim, fair-haired, teenage girl - naked but for a riding boot on her right foot.