paddle (one's) arms

To "paddle" in the water means to hold your fingers together to make a cup shape, and move your hands back and forth. This is the way that most children are first taught to swim. This style of swimming is called "the doggy paddle".

A paddle is a stick with a wider flat part at the end, like what you would use in a small boat. This is where the verb "to paddle" comes from.

This phrase appears in these lessons: