Unintentionally swallow water

Obolensky

Senior Member
swedish - Sweden
If you unintentionally swallow a mouthful of water while swimming; gets water in your throat and start coughing; what is the english word for it, the noun & the verb?
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't think you will find a single word for that whole process. You can say inhale water and water inhalation. These phrases sound quite scientific or medical, and I am not sure if that is what you were looking for.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Since I cannot imagine anyone intentionally swallowing water while swimming, it seems to me that no further embellishment is needed.

    The language, by the way, is English, which is always capitalized.;)
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would not use "inhale water".

    Inhale is used for air, smoke, gas, etc, taken into the lungs, not for water taken into the stomach.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    I cannot imagine anyone intentionally swallowing water while swimming,
    You're right, not in the sea or a chlorinated swimming pool, but perhaps if you got thirsty in an unpolluted (Swedish mountain) lake!


    Obolensky, have you considered choke and choking?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Ex long-distance swimmer here. Sorry to nitpick, but if you swallow sea water or chlorinated water you are more likely to vomit than choke, (although I have swallowed a fair amount of both in my time and nothing happened to me). You cough and/or choke if you breathe it in, not if you swallow it. That has happened to me on occasion, whilst swimming in the sea: a wave washed over me once when I turned my head to breathe in.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I'm just someone who does laps in a pool and of course if someone creates a wave when I'm taking a breath, I would say I gulped in or gulped down some water. No coughing or choking involved necessarily.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I use "to gulp down", in AmE too.

    EDIT: It is of course "inadvertent swallowing", but swimmers don't say that.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    If you intentionally gulp down that stuff sugar-laden elixir---you are at your own risk.

    The OP is about accidentally swallowing water when swimming.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Gulp is normally voluntary, I agree, and when you're swimming, there's only a short time between strokes to take in air, so you gulp down air. If someone creates some turbulence, you gulp down water instead of air. The intention was to gulp down air but what happened was that you gulped down water instead.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    If you unintentionally swallow a mouthful of water while swimming; gets water in your throat and start coughing; what is the english word for it, the noun & the verb?
    I still think think the OP has made a mistake. Swallow is the wrong verb to use if you mean what s/he says, i.e. that water gets in your throat and you start coughing. I stand by what I said above:

    Ex long-distance swimmer here. Sorry to nitpick, but if you swallow sea water or chlorinated water you are more likely to vomit than choke, (although I have swallowed a fair amount of both in my time and nothing happened to me). You cough and/or choke if you breathe it in, not if you swallow it. That has happened to me on occasion, whilst swimming in the sea: a wave washed over me once when I turned my head to breathe in.
    As I see it the OP wants to know how we describe what happens when you open your mouth while swimming and find yourself with a mouthful of water which slips down your throat and makes you cough and/or choke. No swallowing or gulping involved in that, you're inhaling water.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If water goes down your throat, you swallow it (and it may make you cough and gag). If it gets down your airways, you are inhaling it and you feel you are choking (you can't breathe properly). Of course, both of these may happen simultaneously.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    If you unintentionally swallow a mouthful of water while swimming; gets water in your throat and start coughing; what is the english word for it, the noun & the verb?
    If you mean when water gets into your windpipe, it is called 'inhaling water'. You can specify 'involuntary' if you want, though it should be relatively obvious that nobody would voluntarily inhale water. 'Involuntary' is used in a medical context to stress that it is a reflex reaction of the body to inhale water when drowning (strictly speaking, to seal the airways and try to expel the water through coughing, but this often results in water being inhaled).
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    If you unintentionally swallow a mouthful of water while swimming; gets water in your throat and start coughing; what is the english word for it, the noun & the verb?
    After reading more posts, I might also say "some water went down the wrong pipe", or at least that sounds idiomatic if this were happening while drinking an alternative beverage. :D (Besides swimming-pool, or sea-water. Not sure how to hyphenate there.)
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Right, perp: in BE we say 'it (be it food or liquid) went down the wrong way' to explain why we went blue in the face, once we've stopped coughing and choking our hearts out, of course!:D

    Maybe we could say that in a swimming context. A wave washed over me and the water went down the wrong way, leaving me coughing and choking/gasping for breath.:)
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    :) We also use "went down the wrong way". Your sentence could even sound .... like American English. :D
     
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