Origin of flotsam
Examples from the Web for flotsam
Once the sand was plowed back onto the beaches, volunteers scoured it for any flotsam that got through the sifting machines.Superstorm Who? Sandy’s Hard-Hit Beach Towns Reopen for Business|Eliza Shapiro, Josh Dzieza|May 25, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Nietzsche came and heard the Wagnerian music and was caught as flotsam in its whirling eddies.Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14|Elbert Hubbard
It is but a waif on the ocean of commerce—the jetsam and flotsam, of which the law must direct the disposal.The Arena|Various
Those boys may be flotsam and jetsam and all that, but they know more about patriotism than I do.Eve to the Rescue|Ethel Hueston
Bits of flotsam mottled the blue expanse, but it really appeared as if the saving drift weed were thinning to nothing.The Cruise of the Dry Dock|T. S. Stribling
The place which the Doctor indicated was a sloping brown beach, freely littered with the flotsam of the stream.The Dealings of Captain Sharkey|A. Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for flotsam
Word Origin for flotsam
Word Origin and History for flotsam
c.1600, from Anglo-French floteson, from Old French flotaison "a floating," from floter "to float" (of Germanic origin; see float) + -aison, from Latin -ation(em). Spelled flotsen till mid-19c. when it altered, perhaps under influence of many English words in -some.
In British law, flotsam are goods found floating on the sea as a consequence of a shipwreck or action of wind or waves; jetsam are things cast out of a ship in danger of being wrecked, and afterward washed ashore, or things cast ashore by the sailors. Whatever sinks is lagan. Figurative use for "odds and ends" attested by 1861.