flotilla (n.)

"a small fleet," 1711, from Spanish flotilla, diminutive of flota "a fleet," from flotar "to float," which is said to be from Old French floter "to float, set afloat," which is from a word in Frankish or some other Germanic language (such as Old Norse floti "raft, fleet"), from PIE *plud-, extended form of root *pleu- "to flow." Sometimes also "a fleet of small ships."

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