ﬂotsam and jetsam
- Jetsam is that part of a shipwreck that has been thrown overboard (think of jettison) and ﬂotsam that which has ﬂoated off of its own accord. (A third type, wreckage found on the sea ﬂoor, is called lagan.) There was a time when the distinction was important: ﬂotsam went to the crown and jetsam to the lord of the manor on whose land it washed up.
Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.
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jetsam — , ﬂotsam Jetsam applies to goods that have been thrown overboard (jettisoned) at sea; ﬂotsam describes goods that have ﬂoated free from wreckage. Historically ﬂotsam went to the Crown and jetsam to the lord of the manor on whose land it washed… … Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors