As a confluence of unique values and activities, the collective practice of community psychology is difficult to characterize in a simple way. Increasingly, however, professional contexts are laden with pressure to define any practice--from library work to medical interventions--in the orderly, compact language of traditional science. This trend has historically been resisted in the field by those sensing a fundamental lack of fit between the fluid, emergent aspects of community psychological practice and the fixed, precise language of classic science. In response to this "language-practice gap," some have attempted to adapt the traditional language of science to better fit the field's practice, while others have explored alternative languages of practice seemingly more indigenous to the messy "swamp" of actual communities. While the former effort leaves some theoretical contradictions intact, the latter tends to discount scientific identity entirely. This paper proposes a potential step forward by resituating questions of disciplinary language and identity within a current philosophical discourse where the nature of social science itself remains sharply contested. This suggests shifting attention away from "should we be a science?" to "what kind of science might we be after all?"; in turn, alternative languages may be re-cast as legitimate contributors to a kind of science more authentic to human communities--even a viable "science in the swamp." One such language-philosophical hermeneutics--is presented as a particularly valuable supplement to traditional science. Illustrations highlight ways that hermeneutics may advance the formal language of the field towards a closer fit of what actually happens in practice, while preserving and even bolstering the empirical rigor and scientific identity of the field.