flotsam and jetsam

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flotsam and jetsam

1. Literally, the items that have been lost (flotsam) or discarded (jetsam) from a ship that has capsized or sunk. Investigators are busy picking through all the flotsam and jetsam that washed ashore after the crash.
2. Jumbled sundry items. We need to move all the flotsam and jetsam out of these drawers. I mean, cough drops and batteries probably shouldn't be stored together anyway.
3. Things that are unnecessary or trivial. Imagine all that I could remember if flotsam and jetsam like the lyrics to every Disney song weren't taking up space in my head!
4. Homeless people. City council may have forgotten about our flotsam and jetsam, but some of us still make volunteering at the homeless shelter a priority.
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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

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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flotsam and jetsam

Flotsam and jetsam is used to refer to small or unimportant items that are found together, usually in an untidy way. We found cornflake packets, bottles, and all the flotsam and jetsam of the kitchen. Note: The phrase `flotsam and jetsam' was originally used to describe things that were washed onto the shore from the sea, for instance after a shipwreck.
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flotsam and jetsam

useless or discarded objects.
Flotsam refers to the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on or washed up by the sea, while jetsam is unwanted material thrown overboard from a ship and washed ashore. The two nouns are seldom used independently, almost always appearing together in this phrase.
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ˌflotsam and ˈjetsam


1 parts of boats, pieces of wood or rubbish, etc. that are found floating on the sea or along the shore; any kind of rubbish: The beaches are wide and filled with interesting flotsam and jetsam.
2 people who have no home or job and who move from place to place, often rejected by society: Under the bridge, you see the human flotsam and jetsam of a big city.
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flotsam and jetsam

Odds and ends; trash. These words for a ship’s wreckage and cargo floating at sea (flotsam, from the Old French floter, to float) and goods thrown overboard to lighten a ship (jetsam, from the French jeter, to throw) date from the early sixteenth century. Only in the nineteenth century were they used figuratively, for odds and ends of things as well as for human vagrants. Several twentieth-century humorists punned on them, including the poet Ogden Nash (No Doctors Today, Thank You, 1942): “Does anybody want any flotsam? I’ve gotsam. Does anybody want any jetsam? I’ll getsam.”
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References in periodicals archive ?
Solving the above differential equation by variable separable method the concentration of jetsam particles can be written as:
WASHED UP: THE CURIOUS JOURNEY OF FLOTSAM AND JETSAM Author: Skye Moody Publisher: Sasquatch Books Pages: 231 Price: $16.95
Newman's mesmerizing solo, Flotsam and Jetsam, a premiere performed by Melissa Bischoff, opened with the dancer in a sandy gray unitard and a seaweed-like headdress standing upstage with her back to the audience, hands clasped above her head, torso undulating to the sound of surf, captured in Jesse Melcher's synthesizer score.
With the exception of A Lou Harrison Reader (Santa Fe, 1987; reviewed in Music & Letters, lxxi (1990), 596-7) - Peter Garland's glorious but intentionally anti-scholastic, celebratory assemblage of mainly biographical flotsam and jetsam - Heidi Von Gunden's The Music of Lou Harrison is the first extended study of one of America's senior composers.
It is a natural eddy for the flotsam and jetsam that washed up in Japan in the first half of the century, and a number symbolically populate these pages.
There are flush tests that use tiny pellets and others with various flotsam and jetsam.
Trapped by his "wanderlust nervousness," "the desperation of trying to give shape to obsession," the man in the cellar picks his way among bric-a-brac, tinsel detritus: glass beads, bent bobbypins, old coins, a shred of pink silk, used jar of cold cream, the electrolite lipstick case of Hedy Lamarr, colored adverts for Goldschmidt's fabulous Mexican midgets & dancing bears, DeMedici's slot machine girl, three Milky Way wrappers & a fading snapshot of the Divine Dietrich hailing a cab outside the Apollo--all the flotsam & jetsam of our lives saved in a cigar box, American Perfecto.
Add to this a daily conflux of global reports that highlight the devastating impact of plastic waste on flora and fauna -- from irreparable damage to coral reefs in Australia to multiple species of aquatic creatures killed by plastic jetsam every day -- and it is clear that there is no time to be lost.
He has become increasingly outspoken and the tidal waves of goodwill towards a retiring legend have washed up assorted flotsam and jetsam from social media critics.
In fact, if I was ever shipwrecked on a desert island I reckon I could probably make a working version of Mousetrap out of flotsam, and maybe a bit of jetsam, to pass the time until I had to start eating my own legs.
Floating - and sinkable - targets were greatly prized and we would scour the riverbank searching for bombardable jetsam.
The lads spent long days exploring every inch of the Gare and the rocky shingle south-east of the lighthouse jetty, Boulby Cliffs a haze on the horizon, searching the rock pools for the flotsam and jetsam washed up by the sea and of course, looking for winkles.
I was disappointed when I got to the Flotsam and Jetsam page.
The flotsam and jetsam have left the building - let the battle commence.
McEachern was a Thirties' singer from Australia who was known for his huge bass voice and for his work in a duo known as Flotsam and Jetsam.