10 Things Swimmers Say to Each Other They Can’t Say to Their “Normal” Friends

  23 Anne Lepesant | July 25th, 2014 | Featured, Lifestyle, Masters, News

DSC_0600 (2)Thanks to special correspondents Caroline, Victoria, Madeleine, and Isabelle Lepesant for writing the following article:



Swimmers have a language unto themselves. The way we talk to each other is different from the way we talk to our non-swimmer friends. Here are ten examples:

1.  “Oh! I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!”

Swimmers spend somewhere between 20-30 hours a week nearly naked. We get so used to seeing each other with wet hair, wet skin, and bare midriffs that we don’t always recognize each other when fully clothed.

2.  “Are you going to finish that?”In N Out

Swimmers are notorious eaters. Which makes it a lot of fun to go to restaurants with our non-swimmer friends who may or may not be counting calories.

3.  “Yeah but they were suited and tapered.”

Like a handicap in golf, swimmers have their own code for leveling the playing field.

4.  “Ew. That team has so much swimcest.”

It’s just weird when people from the same team date each other.

5.  “Yes! We get ten seconds of rest!”

In any given set, the difference between 5 seconds of rest and 10 second of rest is huge. The harder the set, the more important it becomes.

6.  “He’s such a Sallie-Save-Up!”

Swimmers don’t have a lot of respect for anyone who bags the first half of practice so they can look good beating everyone else in the dive set.

7.  “My shoulders are too big for this dress.”

Just about every swim girl’s worst nightmare. If we could just get it past the shoulders, the dress would fit fine…

Grocery shopping during taper.

Grocery shopping during taper.

8.  “Will you shave my back?”

At their taper meet, boys have shaving parties. Because every hair creates drag and you can’t shave your own back.

9.  “I can’t…it’ll ruin my taper.” 

The greatest week in a swimmer’s year is taper. Can’t walk up a flight of stairs. Can’t bring in the groceries. Best excuse in the world for neglecting our chores.

10.  “I’m SwimSwam famous!”

Being retweeted, regrammed, and/or shouted out by @SwimSwamNews…. There’s just no way to explain this one to non-swimmers.


  1. bobo gigi says:

    Funny. :)

  2. mcmflyguy says:

    1. “Oh! I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!”

    ya, try having this said to you by the president of your University, he used to be a swimmer that’s how I got to know him. He said that to me at a Formal banquet event for alum to meet a few current students that hold leadership positions. Needless to say the 2 alum swimmers with me laughed and everyone else seemed to turn a bright shade of red. Had to explain what he meant after that.

  3. Kirk Nelson says:

    As the “old guy” swimming with a bunch of teenagers I think it’s in my best interest to steer well clear of #1!

    • Tim says:

      I accidentally said this to two of my swimmers (teenage twin sisters) when we ran into each other at a restaurant a few months ago. I had just sat down to eat and they walked up and said hi. Didn’t recognize them at first, but then they said who they were and I blurted out that comment. They and their mom, who had walked up behind them, just laughed. No harm with them…but we did get strange looks from the other folks in the restaurant!

    • swimge says:

      I had my mom say that to me when I said hello to a teammate of mine in the mall. I had only been swimming with the guy for 5 years by that point but hey curly hair looks different when its dry,

  4. kr says:

    “Feel my legs” a common comment after shaving

  5. SWAMS says:

    “your breast looked good today!”

  6. HWHS Swim says:

    My favorite was during meet warm-ups when we were working on starts and all of the sudden, “Hey, you’ve got a pimple on your butt!!” And then everyone crowded around the girl on the blocks to see if it was true (it was). There’s no shame in swimming, we’ve all changed in front of each other anyway!

  7. Wordsworth says:

    Deep male voice at 430am: “You stole my panty hose, AGAIN!!! Coach Troy will nail my ass to the wall.”

    High female voice: ewwww, yours are way too big anyway and you’re not getting mine!

    • evilwatersprite says:

      The pool: the only place you can discuss your drag attire and not have your friends think you’re trying out for ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’

  8. dabrow says:

    I over heard this at an age group swim meet once…” It seems that men’s open fly is always after women’s open breast”. Nuff said!

  9. SwimMSL says:

    I Always say…”Shut-up and swim.” OR “Shoes are over-rated. I SWIM!”

    P.S. All of my friends say that swimming is not a sport. I told them to come to one of my practices, and that changed their mind :)

  10. Adam says:

    You’re blowing bubbles out the wrong end…..

  11. Davivi says:

    Or when your in competition and you tell the swimmer from the opposing team to eat your bubbles.

  12. iLikePsych says:

    The picture is perfect for this article…who is the swimmer on the right?

  13. Angel says:

    My oldest boy was football player and my youngest was swim and water polo the oldest was always telling the younger one that neither of them where realy a sport so on off season of football he figured he’d show his brother how easy it was needless to say the older one was in bed for almost 2 days and never gave his brother any ,ore crap lmao

  14. Bev Hollister says:

    My children swam YEARS ago so I know for real everything that was said. Things simply have not changed.

  15. Mark Cianciolo says:

    #10 is the best…..we can attest to that, but what about #11? Honorable mention from Bobo Gigi! Dont get much better then that too.

    Isable Ivey
    Andrea Santander

    Names to watch for in San Antonio this weekend.

  16. phoenix says:

    I don’t quite understand why people down vote comments that are actually funny.

  17. Patrick Keenan says:

    I always thought it wasn’t the shaving of the back hair, or hair anywhere in general, that we benefited from directly when we shaved for those meets, but rather the effect came from the shaving of actual top layer(s) of skin that gave the actual mental effect on the mind; so yes, shaving the hair is indeed what we did, but also came off a layer or a few of skin. I dont recall ever having to shave hair from another’s BACK, but we still shaved the back to in fact shave off the layer of skin, and that is what gave us the effect we felt diving into the water for those end of season/tapered swims. Any comments on this? Perhaps I have always misunderstood.

  18. Z says:

    At the 2013-2014 NAIA Nationals Championship Meet in OK City I got retweeted, favorited, and replied back to by @SwimSwamNews…and biggest shocker, they we’re at the meet…hidden…like ninjas. hahah :)

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four teenage daughters, all of whom swim. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently a …

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