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A.Word.A.Day--jetsam

Pronunciation: WAV or RealAudio

jetsam (JET-suhm) noun

1. Cargo or equipment thrown overboard to lighten a ship in distress.

2. Discarded cargo or equipment found washed ashore.

3. Discarded odds and ends.

[From earlier jetson, alteration of Middle English jetteson, a throwing overboard.]

"Stray asteroids and interplanetary jetsam are unlikely to daunt the architects of the international space station, due now to be launched in 1998. Such extra-terrestrial shrapnel will seem mild after the bombardment it has been subjected to on the ground. America's Congress has made 16 attempts to kill the project since Ronald Reagan unveiled it in 1984 (at an estimated cost of a mere $8 billion). Congress's General Accounting Office now believes that the station will swallow up $94 billion by the end of its life." No free launch, The Economist, 27 Jan 1996.

This week's theme: nautical words.

X-Bonus

If I try to be like him, who will be like me? -Yiddish proverb


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