swimming idioms

What is swimming?

Swimming is to propel your body through water using your arms and legs. There are many different types of strokes such as breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly stroke. For a competition, swimming can be a race, diving or even a synchronised group routine.​​

swimming idioms and expressions list

Many idioms and expression originated from swimming and here is a list of them with examples.

  • dive in
    meaning – start doing something enthusiastically
    example – Dinner is on the table, dive in before it’s all gone.
  • get along swimmingly
    meaning – be friendly / get on very well with another person
    example – Don’t worry about the kids, they’re getting along swimmingly.
  • in deep water
    meaning – in difficulty/trouble
    example – I’ve been summoned to the school. Lilly is in deep water.
  • jump in feet first
    meaning – do something quickly without hesitating or panicking
    example – Starting a new school is scary, jump in feet first and you’ll be fine.
  • jump in with both feet
    meaning – start doing something enthusiastically
    example – Louis is a great addition to the team, he jumped in with both feet.
  • keep one’s head above water
    meaning – survive in difficult times, especially concerning money
    example – The first part of the year was difficult, now we’re keeping our heads above water.
  • nosedive
    meaning – rapidly begin to fail/decrease
    example – Our profits have nosedived in the last quarter. We’re in trouble.
  • out of one’s depth
    meaning – not have enough knowledge
    example – Wendy has started a job at a top law firm. I think she’s out of her depth.
  • sink or swim
    meaning – fail or succeed
    example – I finally kicked my son out as his behaviour was terrible. It’s sink or swim now.
  • swim against the tide
    meaning – not follow what everyone else is doing
    example – We can’t swim against the tide; we need to give the consumers what they want.
  • test the water
    meaning – try and find out people’s reaction before deciding to do something
    example – A fund-raising day might be an option. I’ll test the water before arranging anything.
  • throw in at the deep end
    meaning – make someone do something difficult without preparing them for it
    example – I’ve never baked, and I’ve got to make a wedding cake. I’m being thrown in at the deep end.

Swimming idioms and expressions – picture examples

swimming idioms and phrases
swimming idiom - dive in meaning
swimming idioms - get along swimmingly
swimming sayings - in deep water
swimming phrases - jump in feet first
swimming phrases - jump in with both feet
swimming phrases - keep one’s head above water
swimming phrases - nosedive
swimming phrases - out of one’s depth
swimming idioms - sink or swim
swimming idioms - swim against the tide
swimming idioms - test the water
swimming idioms - throw in at the deep end

You can download a table of swimming idioms and expressions below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more sports idioms by clicking on the links below.