Some visitors prepare for a trip to Miami by brushing up on their high school Spanish. Which is silly because most of the people they’ll actually run into here speak English. Sure, the English may be peppered with Spanglish phrases and local sayings, and is often delivered in the distinct Miami dialect. So to help our city’s many visitors, Riptide has put together a handy glossary of Miami slang.
Bro: Pretty much anyone being addressed regardless of gender or age. The term is often used to begin or end a sentence. “Bro, like, let’s go to South Beach and get a bottle tonight, bro.”
Casa Yuca: Somewhere extremely out of the way. Other variations include “BFE” (“butt-fuck Egypt”) and “Casa de Carajo.” “I have a date tonight, but I have to drive all the way to Casa Yuca to pick her up.”
Chanx: The shortened form of “chancletas” (the Spanish word for flip-flops). “Grab your chanx – we’re going to the beach.”
Eating shi*: Meaning to pass time by doing nothing. It comes from a Spanish term that translates to “shi* eater” but denotes someone who is rude or clueless. “I was supposed to finish my homework, but I just ended up watching Netflix and eating shi*.”
Irregardless: Miami’s version of “regardless.”
Key rats: A resident of Key Biscayne who rarely leaves the island. “Beach rats,” referring to similar Miami Beach residents, is also used but not quite as frequently.
A mission: Anything that takes a long time, and by that we mean five minutes more than you would have liked. Commonly used in the phrases “what a mission” and “such a mission.” “Trying to find cheap parking in South Beach is such a mission.”
Pastillera fest: Any sort of rave that involves people taking a large amount of pills.
Pero like: “Pero” means “but” in Spanish, and the phrase is used to interject a new point into a conversation. “Suzie, that boy is no good for you.” “Pero like, he’s superhot.”
Pookie-head: Used almost exclusively by Miami youths and nowhere else to refer to someone who does a lot of molly or ecstasy. “The pookie-head is at Space every Saturday until like 10 in the morning.”
Que cute: The Japanese have “kawaii!” Miamians have “que cute!” – meaning “how cute!” “Ay, pero que cute your wedding invitations were.”
Refi: A not quite politically correct adverb derived from “refugee.” Used to describe something that other Americans might call “fresh off the boat.” Told you it wasn’t politically correct.
(See the full Miami Slang Glossary.)