wild swimming lexicon

A light-hearted attempt to expand the wild swimmers vocabulary. Inspired by Mark Forsyth’s book The Horologicon. Written by Chris Ayriss author of Hung Out to Dry Swimming and British Culture


brachiate - the way that Tarzan swings through the jungle.

Brachiate - wild swimming 

chorking - The sound made when your shoes fill with water so that you can hear it sloshing and squeezing between your toes.

Chorkling - Wild Swimming 

curglaff - the feeling you get when hit with cold water, a racing heart and a rush of blood (old Scots term).

Curglaff - Wild Swimming 

delphinestrian - one who travels by dolphin.

Delphinestrain - Wild Swimming 

expergefactor - anything that wakes you up, an alarm clock, the sunrise, or even a dawn swim in cold water.

Expergefactor - Wild Swimming 

gongoozler - the engrossed observer of activity on the canal in the UK, he may watch the boats and swimmers but never joins in.


pingle - to dawdle or trifle with ones food, moving it around your plate. Children often do this on a pick nick when they don't really want to eat but want to get back into the water.

pingle - wild swimming 

quobbled - when you spend a long time in water the ends of your fingers wrinkle up or become quobbled.

Quobbled fingers - wild swimming 

thrumbles - the sound of the kettle just before it boils.

thrumble - wild swimming 

ultracrepidarianism - the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one's knowledge or competence.

Ultracrepidarianism - Wild Swimming