Flotsam and Jetsam




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Flotsam and Jetsam : Phrases



Meaning:

Discarded odds and ends; destitute, homeless individuals.


Example:

The politicians were concerned about the
flotsam and jetsam of the downtown city core.


Origin:

These two terms originated from 17th-century sailing terminology. Flotsam' 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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