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baths

public swimming pool: It's hot. I'm going to the baths for a swim. Compare pools.

Contributor's comments: The word "baths" is used in this sense in Brisbane, not so much as reference to public swimming pools in general, as an abreviation of an actual pools name eg The Spring Hill Baths.

Contributor's comments: Not a regionalism used from Crawley Baths to Valley Baths, WA to QLD.

Contributor's comments: Actually, even though some public swimming places are named "Something-or-other Baths" in Sydney we always went to "the pool".

Contributor's comments: [Melbourne informant] Just to agree with this word. I know it well.

Contributor's comments: As a child in Yorkshire (Halifax area) the swimming baths were always "the baths". Harks back to the days when many homes didn't have a bathroom & you really could have a bath there as distinct from a swim.

Contributor's comments: In Sydney we always went to the "pool", irrespective of what its "official" name was.

Contributor's comments: Baths for swimming pool is a common expresion in North West England, ie New Brighton Baths, a large open air swimming pool.

Contributor's comments: In country NSW the 'baths' were the local swimming pool. In the 50's and 60's the local swimming pool was the social meeting place for all age groups and a relief from the sweltering heat of summer.

Contributor's comments: So long as I can remember 'baths' in Port Phillip Bay (Vic) meant enclosures for swimming in the sea, usually constructed at or near the end of a jetty. Such enclosures, some of which were privately owned and some public, were made with pickets that were far enough apart to let the water flow through freely, but close enough together to keep out any sharks. There are few such baths left these days, no doubt because they were expensive to maintain, but the jetty at Sorrento where there used to be public baths 50 years ago has been partly restored, and a restaurant at its landward end is called 'The Baths'. The locals understand the historical allusion.

Contributor's comments: The local swimming pool. In Newcastle where I grew up, the local swimming pool was referred to as 'the baths', a usage I also found in Sydney. In Wollongong no one ever says they are going to 'the baths' (except non-locals) - everyone talks about going to 'the pools'.

Contributor's comments: Growing up in the Bayside suburbs of Melbourne in the 1960's baths had a specific meaning. The enclosed sea baths at Brighton Beach (now gone) and at Middle Brighton (now renovated). The baths were supervised sea water swimming areas. We would go to the baths for swimming lessons which were cheaper than the Moorabbin Municipal swimming pool. Going to the pool was different to going to the baths.

Contributor's comments: As a Child, growing up in Wentworthville, or "Wenty", a suburb of Sydney, we would go to the "baths", otherwise known as the local swimming pool, on the weekends in summer to swim.

Contributor's comments: I recall baths as fenced in pools on rivers (not ocean pools) and earlier country facilities. In Canberra, I vaguely recall classically styled facilities at Manuka. These were baths. The later Olympic-length facility near Civic was definitely a pool.

Contributor's comments: In London as a child we would go to the Baths to have a bath(wash), this was the same building as the public swimming pool. So when we went swimming we went to the baths also.
pools

The local swimming pool. In Newcastle where I grew up, the local swimming pool was referred to as 'the baths', a usage I also found in Sydney. In Wollongong no one ever says they are going to 'the baths' (except non-locals) - everyone talks about going to 'the pools': I'm going down to the pools for a swim. Compare baths.

Contributor's comments: Where I grew up, in Sydney, it was called "the pool", not "the pools", even though there were many pools at the complex.

Contributor's comments: Always used in the singular "pool" in Gippsland and North East Victoria - Never "baths".