By Dana Lenahan
Every culture has a lingo, whether you would like to admit it or not. Ever heard a fellow diver use a term and you don’t know what the heck they are talking about so you resort to the old “smile and nod”. We have all done it at least once especially when you are new to the world of diving. The old smile and nod only works for so long right? We have made a list of the most frequently used diving terms that you will probably come across in your diving journey. And hey you might even learn something new!
Aluminum 80 – Standard Scuba Tank
Doubles – Two tanks connected together by a manifold usually for technical diving.
Dry or Wet? – Dry suit or wet suit.
Vis – Visibility of the water. Example “Vis was 50ft plus”.
Pony Bottle - A cylinder or emergency air supply that is carried by the diver for use in the event of a primary air supply failure.
Open Circuit – Recreational Diving – If you have your open water certification then you are an open circuit diver.
Rebreather – Also known as closed circuit diving. Like the name suggests you are essentially rebreathing air. A rebreather is a breathing equipment that captures, cleanses and re-oxygenates exhaled air so that it can be reused (also no bubbles).
Bends – Decompression Sickness.
Diver Down Flag – Diver Flag used to signal to boats that there is a diver below and other vessels should keep well clear at slow speed.
Narked – Nitrogen Narcosis.
C- Card – Certification Card or proof of dive training.
Free Flow– A situation where a regulator delivers a continuous flow of air, rather than on demand.
Depending upon the extent and duration of the free flow, if it cannot be stopped the dive should be aborted and a controlled, safe ascent should be performed. This is where your bail out bottle would come in handy!
Skins – Very thin Lycra wet suit worn under your wet suit.
Booties – Dive boots you wear with open heel fins.
Swim through – A gap or short “tunnel” underwater where a diver can safely swim through. A diver should be able to see the exit and safely swim through it.
Air Pig or Air Hog – Someone that goes through air really fast!
D rings – Rings on your BCD that are shaped like a “D” that you clip things to.
Safety Sausage – Yellow or Orange Surface Marker Buoy that you use in emergencies to signal other divers and your boat of your location.
Hydro – Hydrostatic test that is done to every tank every 5 years.
Nitrox - a breathing gas consisting of a higher percentage of oxygen then air.
First Stage – The part of your regulator that connects to the tank.
Second Stage – Your primary regulator (the mouthpiece).
Yoke or DIN? - Two different types of first stage connections (first stage to tank). Most common for recreational diving is yoke and DIN is for technical diving.
Octopus – Your secondary regulator the yellow regulator that you use in emergencies to buddy breathe etc.
Penetrating a Wreck – Any diving involving entering a wreck without known or visual exit.
Techy – Technical Diver someone who dives past recreational limits and or does decompression stops.
Trimix - a breathing gas consisting of oxygen, helium and nitrogen (for technical divers).
Thermocline - Abrupt temperature gradient between the warm upper layer of water and denser cold water below.
Rule of Thirds - Air - a third to get there, a third to get back, and last third belongs to your buddy or for safety measures.
Free Decent/Ascent – Descending or ascending not using a line.
AI – Assistant Instructor
DM – Dive Master
DMT – Dive Master in Training
OW – Open Water
AOW – Advanced Open water
NDL – No Decompression Limit
DPV – Diver Propulsion Vehicle – also known as an underwater scooter.
DAN – Divers Network Alert. An organisation devoted to assisting divers in need. Diver Insurance.
SMB – Surface Marker Buoy – Also known as a Safety Sausage
Well there you have it divers! An insight into diver language and we hardly even scratched the surface! If you thought of a term that we forgot comment below! Did we miss any funny ones you can think of?
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