I’m from England.  We English people sometimes use English weirdly.

Here are some terms that might need explanation if English-English isn’t your first language.


AFAIK – as far as I know

aka – also known as; synonymous with

Beasties – animals

Cheapskate – someone who tries to save money

Current /tidal current – movement of water from one place to another. Ocean/sea currents are often constant in speed and direction from day –to-day.  Tidal currents result from a water moving from a deeper place to a shallower place (when the tide is coming in) and usually flow in the reverse direction when the tide is going out.

Colour – the correct way to spell ‘color’  😛

Dusk – time of day just before sunset.

DIY – do it yourself.

Duck diving; Diving-down / snorkelling-down;  Skin diving – holding your breath and leaving the surface of the water to get closer to something underwater

Diving – scuba diving, with an air-tank and regulator on your back.

Easterlies – winds blowing from the East to the West (same  applies for Northerlies, Southerlies, Westerlies etc).

Flotsam/ jetsam – stuff found washed up on the beach. Flotsam is natural things like leaves, coconuts etc and Jetsam is things discarded  by (usually) humans

Flippies/Flip-flops – English term for simple shoes with a post that goes between your first and second toes (in Asia “slippers”, in New Zealand “jandles”  in Australia ‘thongs’)

Flora and Fauna – Flora is a general term for plants; fauna is for animals

IIRC– if I remember correctly

Knackered – decrepit; broken; destroyed; exhausted

Lee (usage: “in the lee of the island”) – an area sheltered from the wind by something big

Meh – unimpressive; worthy of indifference

Off-the-beach snorkelling – you don’t need a boat to get to the snorkelling site

Seabed – bottom of the sea

Schlep – a long or difficult journey

Shot – photograph

Shore – where the land meets the sea, aka, coast,  coastline

Spring Tide / Neap Tide –  A Spring tide occurs on day zero and day 14 of the lunar cycle (i.e. no moon and full moon). During a Spring tide the high water level is at the highest point that it ever gets and the low water level is at the lowest it ever gets. Spring Tide has nothing to do with the seasons of the year, it happens twice every month. Spring Tide is also known as a King Tide.     A Neap tide occurs on day 7 and 21 of the lunar cycle (i.e. at half moon). The high water level isn’t as high as it was during the Spring tide.  The low water level isn’t as low as it was during the Spring tide.

Tides – Rising and lowering of sea levels every ~ 6 hours due to the rotation of the Earth and the gravitational pull from the Sun and the Moon

Tide coming in – period from Low tide to High tide when the water is getting deeper

Tide going out – period from High tide to Low tide when the water is getting shallower

Tide (is) turning – tide was coming in, but has reached the high water level and is now going out; OR tide was going out, but has

reached the low water level and is now coming in;

Shots– photographs

Snaps – photographs

“It stinks” – something is judged to not be very good/enjoyable

Surge – water moving in and out as a result of wave action.  This is usually powerful and can be dangerous if it scrapes you against a sharp rock.

– – –

Also see the species list for names of fish, corals, and other animals.

Also see for more weird terms


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