- goods cast overboard deliberately, as to lighten a vessel or improve its stability in an emergency, which sink where jettisoned or are washed ashore.
Origin of jetsam
Examples from the Web for jetsam
After being rescued from the ocean several times Buster spent the rest of the afternoon collecting flotsam and jetsam.Why I Hate The Beach
P. J. O’Rourke
July 27, 2014
How many performances of Tristan does this make, Mr. Jetsam?Melomaniacs
This is my estate, and all flotsam and jetsam as is washed ashore is mine.King o' the Beach
George Manville Fenn
The flotsam and jetsam are mere shreds and fragments of wasted lives.How the Other Half Lives
Jacob A. Riis
The crowd passes over him in a flood, leaving him like jetsam among the stones.Jeremiah
I copped it on the high seas—flotsam and jetsam,' says the 'roughneck.'
Word Origin and History for jetsam
1560s, jottsome "act of throwing goods overboard to lighten a ship," alteration and contraction of Middle English jetteson, from Anglo-French getteson, Old French getaison "a throwing" (see jettison). Intermediate forms were jetson, jetsome; the form perhaps was deformed by influence of flotsam. From 1590s as "goods thrown overboard;" figurative use by 1861. For distinction of meaning, see flotsam.
Idioms and Phrases with jetsam
see flotsam and jetsam.