Home » Blog » What are men’s swimwear called? Table of Contents What do you call men’s swimwear? Are they called swim trunks, swim shorts, board shorts, briefs or bathers? This is a question many people ask themselves, especially if you are not a native english speaker. The reason you might wonder is because you hear and read so many different names for men’s swimwear depending on the location and context. English is south a wide spread language and therefore, men’s swimwear are naturally called different things in different parts of the world. Most of the general terms as swim trunks, swim shorts and board shorts will probably work just fine where ever you are. But some of the more local slang terms will most likely not work at all if used incorrectly. In this article we will sort out the question once and for all and answer ”What you call men’s swim trunks around the world?”. If nothing else is specified, we are referring to the general swimwear clothing that men wear while swimming. The goal of this article is to understand what different people and cultures generally call men’s swimwear. We are not referring to the different types of men’s swimwear available. We are aware that different types of men’s swimwear have different names, for example board shorts and briefs. To read more about different types of men’s swimwear see our deep dive into the subject here. Ducks Swim Shorts $60 Select options Turtle Palm Swim Shorts $60 Select options Pineapple Watermelon – Father and Son $70 Select options Palm Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand Most of the native english speakers in the world lives in any of these 4 countries. They are different in a million ways, and they refer to men’s swimwear in different ways. In this article we will limit ourself to different countries. However, we are well aware that these countries are huge to say the least and that even within each country there could be very different ways of talking about men’s swimwear. As a matter of fact, we will even combine Australia and New Zealand since New Zealand is fairly small (compared to US and UK at least). What are men’s swimwear called infographic Swim trunksSwim shortsBoard shortsBoardiesSwim briefsUSA41%22%33%1%3%UK29%44%20%4%3%Australia & New Zealand10%28%52%6%5%What are men’s swimwear called? Ducks Swim Shorts $60 Select options Turtle Palm Swim Shorts $60 Select options Pineapple Watermelon – Father and Son $70 Select options Palm Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options What are swimming trunks called in USA? In USA the most common name for men’s swimwear is swim trunks. 41% of people in USA use the term swim trunks when referring to men’s swimwear. At a close second we have board shorts at 33%. Lastly among the most common names, at 22% we have swim shorts. The swimwear trend in the US reflects the terms they use for men’s swimwear well. In USA it’s more common with trunks and board shorts (longer trunks) and less common with shorter swim shorts. What are swim trunks called in us Why do they call them swim trunks? Men’s swimwear is called swim trunks simply from a historical term when swim trunks was something completely different. The story of why they are called ”swim trunks” goes back a long time. Back then having a suntan indicated that you had to do manual work in the sun, and therefore wasn’t very wealthy. Therefore, men’s swim trunks covered most of their body. From the chest to the lower part of the legs, it was all covered and it was called swim trunks. Over time men’s swimwear evolved but the name swim trunks stuck and is until today the most common term for men’s swimwear around the world. Party Pack $160 Select options Ibiza 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Pearl $60 Select options Sea $60 Select options What are swim trunks called in the UK? In United Kingdom, the most common name for men’s swimwear is swim shorts. Almost half (44%) of people in the UK use the name swim shorts. The second most common name for men’s swimwear in the UK is swim trunks (29%) and board shorts (20%). Just like in the case with US, this might reflect the fashion trends and styles. In the UK it’s more common with the Euro Style swim shorts instead of the more loose swim trunks used in the US. Even know the Britts doesn’t use the term board shorts as much as in the US they still use the slang boardies for their board shorts. Ducks Swim Shorts $60 Select options Turtle Palm Swim Shorts $60 Select options Pineapple Watermelon – Father and Son $70 Select options Palm Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options What are swim trunks called in Australia? A majority of Australians use the name board shorts for men’s swimwear. This is used by more than half of everyone in Australia (52%) and this is the most noticeable difference between all countries compared. Some people (28%) say swim shorts and very few (10%) uses the name swim trunks when talking about men’s swimwear. It’s also clear that Australians call it boardies more than any other country. This isn’t very odd since board shorts is the most common name and boardies is simply slang for boar shorts. Board shorts are mainly used for surfing. And where is the world do everyone go to surf? That’s right, Australia! Most everyone in Australia surfs and the most common use for men’s swimwear might not be to lay on the beach or swim in the pool. But rather to actually go surfing. So for Australians to use the name board shorts seems very natural indeed. Sea $60 Select options Sydney 2-Pack Swim Shorts $80 Select options Coral $60 Select options Blue Striped Swim Shorts $60 Select options What is a budgie smuggler in Australia? Budgie smugglers is an Australian slag or name for short, tight men’s swimwear (briefs). Budgie is short for budgerigar, a small Australian parrot. And smuggler would indicate that the person wearing them smuggles this little bird in his swim trunks. The expression dates back long in Australia and the story of the budgie smuggles goes a little something like this: The Speedo company was founded in Australia and many is the summer I put on one of their suits—you didn’t get much material for your money—in order to impress the girls. Back then […], a Speedo suit was shockingly revealing considering the strait-laced times. While it was thought (by men) to turn every fellow into Greek statuary with a fig leaf of nylon covering, it mostly revealed male vanity and absurdness. Indeed, so vulgar and gross were these male mating displays on public beaches that the Aussies came up with an expression for the abbreviated Speedo—the budgie smuggler. Budgie is short for budgerigar, the native Australian parakeet, and the idea was that a fine figure of a man would wow the crowd if he looked like he had a parrot up his pants. https://wordhistories.net/2021/08/22/budgie-smugglers/ Budgie smugglers To read more about the meaning and history of budgie smugglers please see this more in depth article. Budgie smuggles are without a doubt a bold choice of men’s swim trunks. However, bold doesn’t necessarily mean bad right? So does the budgie smuggles go well with the women? In a survey done by Quicksilver, 1000 women was questioned if they preferred budgie smugglers or swim trunks. As it turns out, 8 of 10 women stated that they found budgie smugglers to be a turn-off. What does bathers mean Australia? Bathers is another Australian slang for swim trunks. The term is almost exclusively used in Australia. Bathers originates from ”bathing custome” which in turn originates from the act of ”bathing”. Bathing (act of swimming) > Bathing costume (clothes that one wears when bathing) > Bathers What are Sluggos Australia? Sluggos are also an Australian term for men’s swimwear. Sluggos are not board shorts or swim trunks, but are more like briefs or speedos. Since sluggos are referring to tight swim trunks the term originates from the fact that your slug, or male genitalia, often can be seen. Sluggos is not the most common word when referring to swim trunks in Australia and it seems like it was more used before and isn’t used as much anymore. Dots Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Blue Striped Swimsuits $65 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Cherry Swim Shorts $60$36 Select options Why do they call swim trunks ”togs” in New Zealand? Togs is a common name for men’s swim trunks in New Zealand, and sometimes even in Australia. Today the word is simply accepted widely but if we dig deeper we can actually find where the word togs come from. In the 16th century togs was short for togeman in England. Togeman meant ”coat” at that point. Going into the 18th century togs was being used in general for clothing in England. When UK colonized New Zealand and Australia the english term for men’s swimwear was still ”bathing togs”. While neither togs or togeman is widely used in UK anymore, ”bathing togs” stayed as the name for men’s swimwear in New Zealand and Australia. Today this has then been shortened to simply tog. Maldives $60 Select options Sand $60 Select options Pink Striped Swimsuit $65 Select options Pearl $60 Select options Men’s swimwear in the English language If we for a second ignore the fact that there are different english speaking countries and just look at the english language as a whole. One might as themself; overall, what’s the most common name for men’s swimwear? Fortunately, Google has a service that indexes books where you can search to see what words are most common. We can use this Books Ngram Viewer to identify what the most common name for men’s swimwear is in general. This data is from books and might not be as reliable as the data in the beginning of the post but we still think it brings value to the discussion. One should also keep in mind that larger countries affect this data more than smaller countries. Mens swimwear trends in english A few things become obvious when looking at the graph above. First, swim trunks is by far the most common name among the three. Secondly, board shorts is a fairly new word and wasn’t really used at all before 2000. Mens swimwear names What are other names for men’s swimwear? While we find it really interesting to dive deeper into different names and slang used around the world, we can’t write whole sections about slang or names used by very few people. But we still believe that these names for men’s swimwear are worth mentioning. In the list below you can find all other names and slang for men’s swimwear. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of all names for men’s swimwear. swim trunks swim shorts briefs board shorts surf trunks sluggos togs bathers bathing trunks swimsuit beachwear bathing costume swimming costume maillot cossie swimmers thong jams Other names for mens swimwear What is another name for board shorts? Board shorts are sometimes also known as surf trunks or boardies. They all have the same meaning and refer to the same type of board shorts. Surf shorts is simply a more specific name that surfers use. But since board shorts are more and more common among people that are not surfing, it’s now more common with the word board shorts. Board, obviously referring to the surf board. And boardies is simply a short slang for board shorts. Sea $60 Select options Sydney 2-Pack Swim Shorts $80 Select options Coral $60 Select options Blue Striped Swim Shorts $60 Select options What are tight swim trunks called? Very tight swim trunks are often referred to as Speedos or briefs. Both these names are widely used for tight men’s swimwear. When naming them I think we can all see the type of swim trunks in our head. Very tight and revealing swim trunks. But also competitive and very flattering, for the right man. While Speedos is probably the most common name for these types of swim trunks this is not the name for a specific type of swim trunks but rather a swim trunks brand that name the model popular. Many people don’t know that the brand Speedos also make board shorts, swim shorts and swim suits. So the correct term for right swim trunks is really briefs, or swim briefs. What are tight swim trunks called Is it swim trunks or swimming trunks? Now we’ve been through more names for men’s swimwear than any of us really thought there existed in the world. And wether you call them shorts or trunks there is still one more question that’s been unanswered. Is it swim trunks or swimming trunks? The easy answer is that swimming trunks was the most common term until 2006 and after that swim trunks is more widely used. swim trunks vs. swimming trunks How do we know this? Google offers a tool in witch you can see how many times different words are used in books. This visualizes questions like this very well. If you want to play around with the numbers yourself you can find the source right here. When it comes to what’s grammatically correct we can’t find anyone saying either is right or wrong. And to be honest, the difference isn’t very big. So in conclusion, both swim trunks and swimming trunks is okey to use. Sea $60 Select options Sydney 2-Pack Swim Shorts $80 Select options Coral $60 Select options Blue Striped Swim Shorts $60 Select options What is the plural of swim trunks? Swim trunks is actually plural only. This means that swim trunks is used wether it is simply 1 price of swim trunks or several swim trunks. What do people speaking english as a second language call men’s swimwear? Now we know more of less everything there is about swim trunks and their names from Australia in the east to US in the west. We’ve gone through some of the major english speaking countries in this article. But what about people speaking english as a second language. What do they call men’s swimwear? The most obvious answer might be that they have their own word for it in their language and they also have their own slang. And that is of course correct. And jus translating the word doesn’t add much value, you can use Google Translate for that. The thing we’re after is what do people speaking english as a second language say when they speak english and talk about men’s swimwear. To analyze this we can use search trends online to identify how popular different names are. In the table below you can see what name for men’s swimwear that’s most popular in some of the major countries around the world. Swim trunksSwim shortsBoard shortsGermany21%18%61%France21%11%68%Spain44%13%44%Canada31%38%31%Mexico40%12%49%Brazil12%10%78%South Africa13%52%35%India40%33%26%Japan19%16%66%Name for men’s swimwear when english is secondary language Dots Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Emerald $60 Select options Pineapple Watermelon Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Ruby $60 Select options Rounding up Now we know everything there is to know about the language around swim trunks and men’s swimwear. While this article might have been technical and very informational, one should aways remember that swim trunks are made for fun in the pool and chill days at the beach. So wether you say swim trunks, swim shorts or board shorts, grab them and get outside and jump in the water! Which is Correct? “Swimsuit” or “Swim Suit”? Bestsellers Pineapple Watermelon Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Kvalitetsaktiepodden x Decisive Beachwear $65 Select options Flamingo swim shortsRated 4.50 out of 5 $60 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Dots Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Blue Striped Swimsuits $65 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options Cherry Swim Shorts $60$36 Select options Read more Different types of men’s swim trunksBoard shorts with and without liner [Complete guide 2022]Board shorts vs. swim trunks, what’s the difference?Best men’s swim shorts for your body type8 things you need to know about Jon Olsson Jonatan RosdahlI’ll write about anything and everything related to swimwear!