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Open Water Swimming Dictionary

Open Water Swimming Dictionary

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Published by Steven Munatones
A dictionary of terms, words and phrases used in the English-speaking open water swimming world.

For more information on open water swimming, visit
A dictionary of terms, words and phrases used in the English-speaking open water swimming world.

For more information on open water swimming, visit

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Published by: Steven Munatones on Mar 05, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Open Water Source
Open Water Swimming Dictionary
was first posted in early 2008 and was used at the 2008
and by 
includes the definitions, etymologies, synonyms and examplesof numerous terms used in the sport of open water swimming.
(noun): 1. Termination of an event prior to its completion due to safety considerations. A race may be abandoned and restarted at a later time due to unsafeconditions on the course.
When the weather worsened and the waves reached over ten feet,the referee called for abandonment of the race
. 2. A termination by a swimmer due to injury,exhaustion or time limits.
(verb): To become accustomed to warmer or colder water temperatures, windchop and waves, and various other conditions before an open water race or solo swim.
Theswimmer began to swim in colder water in order to acclimate for the English Channel.
Synonym: get used to.
(noun): The process of adapting to warmer or colder water temperatures,wind chop and waves, and various other conditions prior to an open water race or solo swim.
Acclimatization is an important part of preparing for the warm water conditions expected at the Olympics 10K Marathon Swim.
 (noun): The continued fall of body temperatures during re-warming afterhypothermia thought to endanger the heart by further cooling due to the cold blood returningfrom the periphery. However, after drop is not always observed depending on thecircumstances.
The doctor was concerned about after drop even after the swimmer had beenpulled from the ocean and treated in the medical tent 
Age-group Start
(noun): When the swimmers are divided by specific ages at the start (asopposed to seeded starts or mass starts).
Swimmers between the ages of 20-39 gathered for astart near the pier.
[Origin: bef. 1150; (v.) ME sterten to rush out, leap (c. MHG sterzen); r.OE styrtan (attested once), c. G stürzen; (n.) ME stert(e) sudden jerk, leap, deriv. of the v.]
 (noun): the ability to mentally generate an increase in one'score body temperature.
Before he jumped in the frozen lake, he prepared throughanticipatory thermogeneses
. [Origin: 2006 during testing of pioneer swimmer Lewis Pughwho scientifically demonstrated this ability.] 
(noun): An enterprising, creative individual business person who makes aliving from provides services or products to the open water swimming world.
Theaquapreneur started a business by taking swimmers on week-long expedition swims
© 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by Open Water Source. All Rights Reserved. p.
Open Water Source
[Origin: Gary Emich circa 2006 based on aqua first known use in Middle English, from Latinin 14
century; see ak 
- - in Indo-European roots + from
to undertake from oldFrench in 1852] 
Asociacion de Cruce a Nado del Estrecho de Gibraltar
(ACNEG) (noun): Anassociation that governs swims in the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain (Europe) and Morocco(Africa) and sanctions its escort pilots, observers and swimmers.
The swimmer got his swimratified by the Asociacion de cruce a nado del Estrecho de Gibraltar 
. Synonym: GibraltarStrait Swimming Association.
Assistant Referee
(noun): a race official with the authority to intervene in competition atany stage to ensure that rules are observed and disqualify any swimmer for any violation of the rules that he personally observes. <span style="font-style:italic;">The Assistant Refereemade recommendations on the race course and safety to the Chief Referee</span>.
(verb): 'Ice-hold swimming' in the Finnish language or swimming in a frozenbody of water that requires cutting a hole in the ice, where the water temperature hoversaround 0 °C (32 °F).
The Avantouinti Society is a group of swimmers who enjoy swimmingin ice holes cut in frozen lakes and ponds
. Synonyms: winter swimming, cold-waterswimming, extreme swimming, ice hole swimming, ice swimming.
 (noun): A person who does ice-hold swimming or avantouinti (Finnish).
The Avanto swimmers cut a hole in the ice and went for a 5-minute dip despite the fallingsnow language
. Synonyms: winter swimmer, cold-water swimmer, extreme swimmer, icehole swimmer, ice swimmer.
Beach Finish
(noun): A finish that is on land, requiring the swimmers to exit from the waterand run up a beach to a finish line.
The rough water swim has a picturesque beach finish onthe sands of Waikiki. Synonym: run-out finish.
Antonyms: in-the-water finish and FINA finish.
(noun): An empirical measure for describing wind velocity based mainly on observed sea conditions.
The referee made reference to the Beaufort Scalewhen he made the public announcement about the abandonment of the world championshiprace.
Synonym: Beaufort Scale.Beaufort No. -- Sea Conditions (wave height in meters)0 - Flat (0 meters).1 - Ripples without crests (0.1 meters).2 - Small wavelets. Light breeze. Crests not breaking (0.2 meters).3 - Large wavelets. Crests begin to break. Scattered whitecaps (0.6 meters).4 - Small waves. Moderate breeze (1 meter).5 - Moderate longer waves. Some foam and spray (2 meters).6 - Large waves with foam crests and some spray. Strong breeze (3 meters).7 - Sea heaps up and foam begins to streak. Moderate gale (4 meters).8 - Moderately high waves with breaking crests (5.5 meters).
© 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by Open Water Source. All Rights Reserved. p.
Open Water Source
9 - High waves (6-7 m) with dense foam. Strong gale (7 meters).10 - Very high waves. Visibility is reduced. Sea surface is white (9 meters).11 - Exceptionally high waves. Violent storm (11.5 meters).12 - Huge waves. Air filled with foam and spray. Hurricane (14+ meters).
(noun): The most direct and straightest route to a specific point during a race, albeitnot necessarily always the fastest route due to currents or waves.
The coach directed her swimmer to take a beeline to the next turn buoy.
[Origin: 1820–30, Americanism; BEE +LINE]. Synonyms: straight course, direct line, shortest route, straight line and Rhumb Line.
Big Blue
(noun): Any open body of water including an ocean, lake or sea, especially in termsof a venue for open water swimming.
The endurance athletes took to the Big Blue on their latest endurance challenge
. Synonym: open water, ocean, lake, sea.
 (noun): To breathe on both the right and left sides during freestyleswimming.
He was able to check out the landmarks and competition on both sides due to hisbilateral breathing.
[Origin: 1765–75; bi- + lateral] + [Origin: 1350–1400; ME brethynge]
 (noun): The production and emission of light by living organisms,including in the ocean, which can be seen on the surface of the water by swimmers. The termoriginates from Greek (
for 'living') and Latin (
for 'light'). It is a form of chemiluminescence where energy is released by a chemical reaction in the form of lightemission.
The channel swimmers were enthralled by the bioluminescence in the ocean
(noun, slang): An abundant layer of hypodermis, also called subcutaneous tissue,that is mainly used for fat storage and a natural means to help tolerate cold water by marathon swimmers. [Origin: bio + neoprene or polychloroprene, a synthetic rubber that isused for wetsuits. Neoprene is the DuPont trade name for its brand of polychloroprene].
Thechannel swimmer ate a box of donuts every morning in order to add to his layer of bioprene
(noun, slang): A swim at night when there is bioluminescence in the water. Thechannel swimmers greatly enjoyed their bio-swim with all the bioluminescence in the water.
(adjective): To get caught between swimmers in the front and back and/or on theleft and right sides so as to not be able to swim in the desired direction or at the desired pace,sometimes resulting in additional physical contact. To be closely surrounded by otherswimmers and unable to make a move within the pack.
The swimmer was boxed in betweenthree other swimmers after coming out of the turn.
Synonym: sandwiched and squeezed.
Box Jellyfish
(noun): A cube-shaped marine creature that floats with the winds and currentswith a nearly transparent, slightly tinted body and long tentacles with stinging cells.
Theswimmer swam right into a brood of box jellyfish off of the coast and was stung badly on hisarms and face
. Synonyms: marine stinger, jellyfish, Portguese Man o War, sea wasp andstinger.
(verb): To speed up or increase the pace and/or alter the direction in order to
© 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by Open Water Source. All Rights Reserved. p.

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