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English Beach Vocabulary Words for Fun in the Sun

(Part II) - Beach clothes and accessories 


1. Bathing suit 


A bathing suit (also called a swimsuit) is, quite simply, the outfit you wear to swim. 


It’s not the same as a business suit (a formal jacket you wear to professional events) or a birthday suit (the clothes you were born in… or in other words, completely naked!). Unless, of course, you’re at a nude beach, which is a beach that allows people to walk around and swim with no clothes on. 


2. Bikini


A bikini is a woman’s two-piece bathing suit, which leaves the stomach and back exposed. There are a number of variations on the bikini, like the tankini (a two-piece bathing suit with a tank top for the top part) and the monokini (a bikini connected into a single-piece bathing suit by a strip of fabric). 


Don’t worry, we native speakers don’t remember all these terms, either. When in doubt, just call it a bikini! 


3. Trunks 


Trunks are the male versions of swimsuits, and they usually just look like pairs of shorts. There is no top part. 


4. Cover-ups (пляжное платье, накидка) 


Some women like to wear cover-ups at the beach. Cover-ups are light pieces of clothing that are either worn over or wrapped on top of a bikini. 


Some women wear cover-ups so they won’t get too tan or burned from the sun. They’re used for modesty, because some people don’t want to expose lots of skin. They’re also used sometimes just because they look nice and fashionable, or for warmth when the beach gets chilly at night. 


5. Sunglasses


Sunglasses are dark glasses worn to protect your eyes from the sun. Sunglasses are a must-have item at the beach, but of course you can wear them any time you need to keep your eyes safe from bright lights (though probably not from explosions). 


6. Sunscreen 


Sunscreen, also called sunblock is a cream or spray applied to the body to keep it from getting burned by the sun. The SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, tells you how effective the sunscreen is. The higher the number, the less sun will get to your skin. 


7. Flip-flops


Sandals that have one strap in the front that connects between the big toe and the second toe are called flip-flops. It’s easy to see why: they flip and flop around a lot! 


8. Beach towel 


A bath towel is what you use to dry yourself when you come out of the bath or shower. A beach towel is the same, but for the beach. Beach towels are usually larger than regular towels, so you can lay them down on the sand and then lay down on top of them. 


9. Beach chair


The beach even has its own special chairs. Beach chairs are usually portable (easy to move around) and are made of metal poles with fabric stretched between them to form a back and a seat. 


For extra comfort, bring along a beach lounger, which is large reclining chair that’s big enough to lie down on. Who said going to the beach means you need to touch sand?