Is there a 'right' slang word for swimsuits? Australia has spoken.

Lilly & Lime
Thanks to our brand partner, Lilly & Lime

When it comes to names, there are a few things Aussies just can’t agree on.

Potato cakes or scallops? Tomato sauce in the fridge or cupboard? Sausages in bread, sausage sizzle or sausage sandwich? And what the hell do we call those pieces of clothing we wear to go swimming?

Yes, the Aussie summer national costume of swimsuits can really cause some friction between friends, family and strangers. And don’t get us started on the awkward and confusing conversations between interstate pals.

What do you call your swimsuit? Image: Lilly and Lime

So what's the "right" slang word for them? Thanks to the development of Australian English (growing from the speech of expats, local Indigenous languages and brands) it varies state from state.


In Team A, we've got bathers.

Most popular in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, 'bathers' is a derivative of 'bathing suits'. While some view it as an old-fashioned term, others have theorised that it's because Melbourne doesn't really have surf, so swimming is more like a 'bath'. They were definitely from the sunnier states, which leads us to...

Those in the NSW are more likely to call them swimmers. Simple, easy to remember and pretty logical, we'd say.

Are these togs, cossies, bathers or swimmers? Image: Lilly and Lime.

Team C, the cossie callers are smaller in numbers but just as mighty in their belief that they are right. Presumably short for 'swimming costume', cossies are casual and usually found sprinkled across NSW, Victoria and Queensland.


And finally we have Team Togs. It's the favoured phrase by the Kiwis and head to Queensland and this is the word you'll hear the most - and arguably they're the state that gets to wear them the most. But does that make them "right"?

Lilly & Lime ran a nationwide poll, to find out once and for all, what the Aussie name for a swimsuit was. A whopping 3500 Australians entered the poll and in a matter of days, their online poll was flooded, along with their social media pages where people left thousands of comments stating whether they called them cossies, togs, swimmers or bathers.

Lilly & Lime co-founder Ashleigh Hill reveals "bathers" is the preferred name, scoring 38 percent nationwide, finishing ahead of "togs" with 28 percent. Who'd have thought?

Image: Lilly and Lime

On the topic of bathers/togs/whatever you call them, if you're like me and er, larger boobed, and find buying a one-piece or bikini that actually houses your two friends, then Lilly & Lime is a great place to start. Catering for D cups to HH cups, the designs are fun, stylish, colourful and supportive in all the right places.

Of course, no matter what you call that waterproof piece of fabric, the greatest thing about a day at an Australian beach and that we can all agree on? They're for everyone and allow us to get out into the water and  just have fun.

What do you call a swimsuit? Tell us!