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

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.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

Another funny one:
We talked about that in the shower last night

8 years ago

We all used to say chlorine was our perfume or aftershave.

9 years ago

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 🙂

Patrick Keenan
9 years ago

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… Read more »

9 years ago

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

Mark Cianciolo
9 years ago

#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.

Bev Hollister
9 years ago

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

9 years ago

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

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. 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 …

Read More »