goods cast overboard deliberately, as to lighten a vessel or improve its stability in an emergency, which sink where jettisoned or are washed ashore.
Also, jetsom.
Compare flotsam, lagan.

1560–70; alteration of jetson, syncopated variant of jettison

flotsam, jetsam. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
jetsam or jetsom (ˈdʒɛtsəm)
1.  flotsam Compare lagan that portion of the equipment or cargo of a vessel thrown overboard to lighten her, as during a storm
2.  another word for flotsam
[C16: shortened from jettison]
jetsom or jetsom
[C16: shortened from jettison]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1570, alteration of M.E. jetteson "act of throwing goods overboard to lighten a ship," from Anglo-Fr. getteson (see jettison). Form perhaps influenced by flotsam. For distinction of meaning, see flotsam.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see flotsam and jetsam.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
They were good enough to be ranked in preseason polls, but not any higher than
  the flotsam and jetsam of post-season candidates.
The difficulty, rather, is spotting signs of it in the jetsam of subatomic
  debris these machines produce.
The flotsam and jetsam would go to the highest bidder.
Now they have to compete with urban gulls used to feeding off the flotsam and
  jetsam of city life.
Idioms & Phrases
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