12 Slang Words Everyone Must Know When Traveling to Miami

While preparing for a trip to Miami, most people might pack a lot of sunblock and swimsuits. The may also find it necessary to refresh on their Spanish, though the majority of the people speak English. Miami’s English is quite distinct and includes a mix of Spanglish words and phrases known to every true citizen of the 305. To help any visitor get around without being utterly confused, here’s a glossary of some of Miami’s most popular terms.

1. Dale [dah-leh]

Meaning let’s go, okay, do it. This can be used in any situation whether you’re saying goodbye to your squad, congratulating your best-friend, or expressing your approval.


“Hey, Steph and I are going to the movies at 8, want to come?”


2. Pero like [peh-roh-lahyk]

“Pero” means “but” in Spanish, the phrase is used to interject into the conversation with a new point. It’s mostly said when someone can’t handle a situation and is usually followed with “pero, like, I can’t deal.”

3. Chonga [chong-ga]

Miami’s most infamous female. She wears dark lip liner, gelled hair, tight jeans, crop tops, and huge hoops earrings with her name engraved inside; sometimes a matching necklace is included. The term is also associated with being “ratchet”.

4. Literally [lit-er-uh-lee]

Like all other millennials when Miamians use the word “literally”, there is nothing literal to what they are saying. Pronunciation is key in Miami which makes it stand out even more.

Example: “I went to a comedy show last night and literally died laughing.”

5. De madre [deh-mah-dreh]

It’s literal translation means of mother but it’s used to sympathize with someone’s unfortunate circumstance.


“I totally embarrassed myself in front of Carlos last night when I was drunk.”

“Oof, de madre.”

6. Eating shit

Originates from the Spanish phrase “comiendo mierda” meaning messing around or passing the time doing nothing.

Example: “I was supposed to write my paper but instead I was eating shit and watching Netflix.”

7. Papi Chulo [pah-pee-choo-low]

Literal definition: pimp daddy. The term has evolved from a Hispanic guy thinking he’s a ladies man to a guy that’s actually insanely attractive.

Example: ”Young Leonardo DiCaprio is such a papi chulo.”

8. Pata sucia [pah-tah-su-see-ya]

This word translates to dirty foot, and is used when referring to a girl who has taken off her shoes at a club or party because she can no longer dance/walk in her heels. 

Example: “Can you believe Jennifer went pata sucia last night at Story?”

9. Pachanga [pah-chan-ga]

A celebration or party that involves dancing, drinking, and bad decisions.

Example: “There’s going to be another pachanga on the streets if the Heat win another championship.”

10. A mission

Anything that takes a longer time than you would have liked. Mainly used in the phrases “what a mission” and “such a mission.”

Example: “It’s such a mission to find parking in Miami Beach.”

11. Bro or Broder 

Meaning friend, brother, dude. It’s a unisex word used quite frequently.

Example: “Broder, last night was crazy!” or “Bro, did you hear what happened with Carlos and Alexa?”

12. Dasit [dhas-eet]

Spanglish version of “that’s it.”

Example: “I’ll have a chocolate milkshake, burger, small fries, and dasit.”

Now that you know how to speak like a local, hit the streets of Miami and find yourself a papi chulo, live it up at a pachanga, and be careful not to literally die of a heat stroke.

Featured Photo Credit: Obed Hernandez via unsplash.com