Posted by: Jack Henry | July 7, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Skinny-Dipping

Happy summer!

I received an email this morning, alerting me that this Saturday, July 9, is International Skinny-Dip Day. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, skinny-dipping is going for a swim in the nude. The sender of this message asked me to investigate the history of this term, so here you go!

Amazingly enough, there is very little information out there about this idiom. I saw dates for the origin of the term spanning the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, so I don’t have a precise answer about how old the term is. And there are very few descriptions of it aside from “swimming naked.” Here are a couple of the descriptions I found, the first from Idiom Origins: “American…from the allusion of stripping down to one’s bare skin rather than having anything to do with being skinny as in thin.” The Free Dictionary definition went a little farther than that, saying “To swim in the nude, especially in a public place or someone else’s private property.”

And a brief reminder about briefs: skinny-dipping is illegal in a lot of places. Before you decide to celebrate wildly without your knickers, make sure you’re familiar with the local laws.

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

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