Scuba slang to help new divers get their sea legs

By: Brittany Hadfield

When you’re a new diver, it can be a little bit intimidating at first with all the new things you are expected to learn. At least it was for me, especially when we started discussing the science and math aspects of diving. Those had me thinking I got into the wrong sport and industry because, frankly, I am not good at either subject. Sticking with it proved scuba diving to be an exciting and worthwhile experience, but this got me thinking – I can’t be the only one who feels like diving slang could be a totally different language. So, I turned to one of my favorite diving-related Facebook groups: Girls That Scuba to learn more about scuba slang and below are just SOME of the responses I received on my post.

Tankmonkey (n); someone who is either a divemaster candidate or youngin at the shop that has to load and unload after trips. Also called: Diveslave, divedonkey, divesherpa, tank donkey or pool boy/girl.

Feeding the Fish (v); getting sick underwater.

Airsucker (n); the person on a dive who runs out of air first.

Eggbeater (n); someone who is way overweighted and has to kick while swimming vertically in order to stay off the bottom.

Leadweighter (n); that one diver on the boat that thinks they need 20 pounds of lead with no wetsuit.

Pigpen (n); someone constantly on the bottom, stirring up sand/silt.

Patch (n); the guy that sews his patches on his wetsuit and brags about his diving.

Insta-buddy (n); getting paired up with a stranger.

Spare-air (n); what my husband calls me since he’s an air hog and I always come back with half a tank.

Danglies (n); stuff hanging off someone’s gear and dragging all over everything.

Divemonster (n); divemaster candidate.

Rototilling (v); new divers that create a cloud of kicked up silt behind them, mimicking a tractor in a field.

Balloon (n); a new dry suit diver that has their feet suddenly fly above their head.

Diver’s Makeup (n); snot you wear all over your face after a dive.

De-fizzing (v); surface interval or offgassing.

Fart Bag (n); dry suit.

Pool’s Open (ph); after the dive briefing when it’s time to get wet and blow bubbles. Not used for the actual pool.

Seapuppies (n); seals or, for me, sharks.

Sea Panda (n); orca.

Sea Hippy (n); dolphin.

Hoovers (n); people (usually new divers) who drain tanks super fast.

Bioprene (n); natural insulation that reduces the need for neoprene.

Turtling (v); the act of a diver who flips over on their back and cannot right themselves.

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3 replies
  1. Joel
    Joel says:

    dirt-dart overweighted and hits the bottom

    single-tank-numpty – new single tank diver who got on a tech trip

    warm-water-weenie – never dives in water cooler than 84f

  2. Henny
    Henny says:

    Great read! There are a few I’ve never heard. Joel has some funny ones too. I have a dirt dart friend, and warm water weenie and I see people rototilling at the quarry all the time lol. They call me polar bear because I dive in a wetsuit year round in Va at least until I got my fart bag this year Hahahaha.


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