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
Many idioms originated from swimming and here is a list of them with examples.
- dive in
meaning – start doing something enthusiastically
example – Dinner’s on the table, dive in before it’s all gone.
- get along swimmingly
meaning – be friendly with another person, get on well
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 Louis is a great addition to the team, example – he jumped in with both feet.
- keep one’s head above water
meaning – survive in difficult times, especially with money
example – The first part of the year was difficult, now we’re keeping our heads above water.
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. 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
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.