SWIM in sign language

How to sign "swim", "swimming" in American Sign Language (ASL)?

Definition: To move in water by movements of the body or parts of the body, especially the arms and legs.

In the case of fish or any animal with a tail and fins, this ASL sign doesn't apply. Use the classifier for fish swimming instead.


What a competitive SWIMMER needs are a SWIMSUIT, a SWIM CAP, GOGGLES, and a SWIMMING POOL filled with cold WATER.

Vocabulary for swim strokes: BUTTERFLY, BACKSTROKE, BREASTSTROKE, FREESTYLE, and individual medley (I.M.).

Vocabulary for swimming kicks: DOLPHIN KICK used in butterfly, FLUTTER KICK used in freestyle and backstroke, FROG KICK used in breaststroke, and SCISSORS KICK, well, used in beginner classes.

Wonder how Deaf swimmers and track-and-field athletes hear a STARTING GUN?

Deaf History

This newspaper article featured a Deaf competitive swimmer (who is the creator of this web app/site).

Deaf swimmer, news clip
Newspaper clipping, 1987.

Yeah, competitive swimmers swim with their mouth open (without getting water swallowed in)-- especially when they're laboring and sweating (never noticeable) after 5 miles or 8 km of fast swim in a training session.


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Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL written for SWIMMING

Written ASL digit for "SWIM/SWIMMING" contributed by Jolanta in the ASLwrite community, 2018.

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