over the transom
A transom is a lintel or crosspiece over a door; likely an alteration of Latin trānstrum (“crossbeam”). Refers to the idea of a writer tossing a manuscript through the open window over the door of the publisher's office. Alternatively, a "transom" is the nautical term for the back of a small boat. Something which "came in over the transom" would have suddenly (and presumably, surprisingly) entered through the "back door" of the craft, metaphorically.
- (idiomatic, of a work submitted for publication) Unsolicited.
- All the over-the-transom articles are handled by our interns.
- Only one piece that came in over the transom appears in this issue.
- (idiomatic, law, government) Meeting a deadline by delivery after the day of the deadline but before opening of business the following business day.
- They worked into the night and sent an associate to make an over-the-transom filing.
- This sees adjectival use ("a submission over the transom", "over-the-transom articles") and adverbial ("came in over the transom").