So You Want to Understand Swimming Jargon?


First off,  you must watch how crazy swimmers are:

Ok. You just became friends with a competitive swimmer and you want to be supportive by asking how his latest swim  meet went. But you can’t understand when he says something like “The dumb official dq’d my fly touch so now I have to go to Dairy Queen.”

There’s a lot of funky jargon in the swimming world. To help you understand your new swim friend, I’ve complied a helpful list of lingo from the community of swimming.

DQ or Dq’d: This means your swimmer friend did something illegal during a race. The illegal something could be anything from not touching the wall to swimming under the lane line. Dairy Queen is often the comforting go to after such a humiliation.

Tapered: This is the time when your swimmer friend jumps onto every available piece of furniture because the workouts are too easy and he has excess amounts of energy.

Fly: a stroke, not an insect.

Back: another stroke. Only on your back.

Breast: a frog like stroke

Free: the stroke every non-swimmer calls the front crawl.


Warm down: The two sweetest words in a swimmer’s vocabulary. It means practice is over.

Sally-save-up: When a swimmer saves all her energy so she looks good at the end of practice.

Flip turns: It’s when swimmers somersault at walls.

50: Two laps

100: Four laps

200: Eight laps.

You get the idea.

Bonus lingo: The various nicknames (frog man, tattoo lady, polio guy) for the patrons who jump in your lane before you finish practice.

This kind of jargon is short, sweet, and to the point. It’s meant to be used by a coach shouting instructions at you while both ears are submerged in water. Without the established lingo, swimming would be ten times more boring than it already is.




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