Flotsam and Jetsam

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Set or assembly of worthless or unimportant things, hogwash or rubbish


  • The phrase finds its roots back in the early 16th century. The word “flotsam” denotes all the remains, debris and shipment that float in the ocean after a shipwreck. Jetsam means goods or load that float in the water because it was thrown to make the ship less burdensome or light for the fear of any risk of its sinking. In 19th century these words only meant any kind of wreckage on sea or land. Since the two words are rhyming which help making them a popular idiom.

Her mind often remains preoccupied with flotsam and jetsam of trivial things in life.

Submitted on February 25, 2019


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"Flotsam and Jetsam." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 9 Dec. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/flotsam-and-jetsam_44669>.

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