from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of foretopsail.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In obedience to his instructions he went out, and on the 10th of July, being to windward, with the wind at northeast, formed his line-of-battle, and then stood down to attack the French, who waited for him, with their foretopsails aback  on the starboard tack, heading to the northward and westward.
The main and foretopsails both blew out of their gaskets, bellied for an instant, and then burst from the bolt-ropes and flew away, and were speedily lost to sight.