OK, this is an attempt:

enter image description here

I remained there, gazing at the sea. Its color was light green in the part closest to the shore, turned slightly darker in the middle, then abruptly changed to dark blue in deeper waters.

Are those words commonly used? Or is there a better and simpler terminology to describe them?

closed as too broad by NVZ, user140086, vickyace, tchrist, curiousdannii Jun 5 '16 at 5:48

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Do you want us to proofread your passage or are you looking for an informal or differently a technical taxonomy of a beach? Also Do you want the entire ocean system, or just what you can see in the picture? Please edit your question considerably to make more specific. – Mitch Jul 22 '13 at 16:25
  • 2
    I think it's clear enough that he's looking for specific words for various parts of a beach. Instead of "the part closest to shore" is there a word for which this is the definition? – Cyberherbalist Jul 22 '13 at 16:30
  • @Cyberherbalist Yes, exactly. – janoChen Jul 22 '13 at 16:33
  • In the macmillan dictionary there is a long list of words describing different areas of water. – Mari-Lou A Jul 22 '13 at 16:55
  • I think that's useful, @Mari-LouA, but the question is asking about the terminology for the various depths of water in the inshore. For which there doesn't seem to be anything more generic than "the shallows". – Cyberherbalist Jul 22 '13 at 17:03

It could be described as a gradual deepening of color from the water's edge to the dark, opaque depths at the distant horizon.


There seems to be only one common word for any part of the water next to the shore. And that would be "shallows". As in, "Its color was light green in the shallows..."

If there are any other words for the parts deeper than the shallows, and for the parts even deeper than that, I am unaware of them.

Edited to add: That being said, there is a word for the part of the sea close to the shore, namely "inshore". But it doesn't distinguish between the shallows and the deeper areas. There are words for various parts that further out from inshore. "Deeps" being one of them, but when we come to this we are not talking about the parts nearer the shore, which is the subject of your picture.


The offing is the part of the sea visible from the shore (or, equivalently, from which you can see the land), but unless you use technical terms like reef, bar or sandbank, I do not think there are any more specific terms.

  • Nice! Never heard that one before. Just checked dictionary.com and now I know what is up with the usage "A wedding is in the offing." Meaning, that I actually had heard it before, but wasn't aware of the full import of the word and its usage. – Cyberherbalist Jul 22 '13 at 16:50
  • isn't the offing the navigable deep water between shore and horizon, specifically excluding inshore shallows? – Spagirl Jun 2 '16 at 22:04
  • @Spagirl: In my experience, "making an offing" is specifically reaching a point where you can see the shore: avoiding shallows is desirable but optional. – TimLymington Jun 2 '16 at 22:21

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