If you are planning to travel to Florida soon, you need to familiarize yourself with the local languages, especially slang, so that you can have an easy time interacting with the locals. This article offers you the 22 common Florida slang words to make you sound like a local.
What Is Slang?
Slang is the vocabulary of an informal register, common in spoken conversations but ignored in formal writing. It can also be defined as the language exclusive to members of a particular in-group designed to create the group’s identity and exclude outsiders. Slang was coined in the 18th century and it mainly referred to the language of “low” or “disreputable” people.
But in the 19th century, the slang language was no longer exclusive to the disreputable people because different groups of people had started developing their own slang words. However, it was still being used below the level of standard educated speech. Although it’s still not clear where the word “slang” originated from, it is widely suspected that it is connected with thieves’ cant.
Some scholars have suggested that the word has a Scandinavian origin, citing the Norwegian word “slengenavn”, which means “nickname.” But the Oxford English Dictionary discounts this association based on the date and early associations.
Another scholar, Jonathon Green, suggests that the word came from the word “sling”, which means “to throw”, adding that slang is a thrown language – an easy and honest way to put your point across.
Linguists still don’t have a simple and clear description of slang, but they all agree that it is a continuously changing linguistic spectacle existing in virtually every subculture around the world. Some even suggest that this language exists because people are always coming up with new ways of defining new experiences that have emerged with time and modernity.
Can Slang Be Used in Formal Speech?
As mentioned above, slang is an informal and playful type of language that is commonly used in casual conversations. Therefore, you should only use it in casual talks and not in a formal context. Formal language is characterized by the application of standard English, complex sentence structures, infrequent use of personal pronouns, and a lack of colloquial words or slang.
With the emergence of instant messaging and texting, it has become almost acceptable to use slang words like “gotta” and “wanna” in a formal conversation. These words are slowly creeping into important emails and memos. But is it okay? The truth is that there are many dangers of using slang in a formal conversation.
For instance, if you are having a business meeting with an important client, you are likely to lose their confidence if you use slang words. Using casual words when discussing serious issues will cause people not to take you seriously.
As an investor, how would you react if you received a business plan that is filled with slang words? Would you invest your millions of dollars in a business whose owner seems too casual about it?
However, if you use instant messaging to communicate with your fellow employees and bosses in your office, then perhaps it will be difficult not to apply some slang words in your everyday messages. Your employees are almost certainly going to type instant messages similar to the way they text because it is an informal way to communicate.
Florida Slang Words and Meanings
Every American state has its unique way of saying “pal” or “homie”. In southern Florida, they use the term “Acere” to mean friend. It’s a Cuban term.
Example: “Acere, what’s up?”
This is another popular Southern Florida slang term, which is like a noun. Bih means person, place, or thing. Therefore, it’s an adaptable Floridian slang term.
Example: “What’s wrong with that bih over there?”
Bussin refers to a good thing. It is a simple way of telling someone that the food was awesome or delicious.
Example: “Let’s go there again; that burrito place was bussin.”
Apart from being someone’s name, dale also means “bye” or “to hurry up” in Floridian slang. It’s mostly used in Miami and it has Cuban roots.
Example: “Come on, dale. We’ve got to get home.”
Florida is a popular holiday destination and therefore it has a lot of pools. So, it’s only sensible that you have a “Florida bath” when you jump into one of the pools instead of taking a shower.
You will still get the dirt off!
Example: “I don’t have to shower, Mom; I already had a Florida bath.”
Although this Floridian slang word seems fabulous, it is actually derogatory. It is normally dedicated to the strange, bizarre, and downright unfathomable actions or events that happen to or by Floridians.
Example: “Oh, man! I heard about that. It was Floridabulous.”
Florida Happy Meal
A “Florida Happy Meal” isn’t something you would like to buy for your kids. Rather, it’s more of an adult purchase comprising beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets.
Example: “She ran up to the store to get a Florida Happy Meal.”
“Florida Man” is a disparaging slang word that was invented in 2013 after a meme was created about a person from Florida that ate a man’s face. Consequently, this term became a common way to describe weird or foolish Floridian behavior.
Example: “Did you see that headline about the guy being arrested for sticking chicken nuggets up his brother’s nose? That was a Florida Man for sure.”
In Florida, gator is a slang word for an alligator. It’s the shorter form of an alligator. These creatures are found in plenty in Florida.
Example: “Did you see that gator?”
In Floridian slang, it’s pretty easy to guess what hundid means. It stands for a hundred.
Example: “Did you see all those bills? That guy was rolling in hundids.”
Florida is always wet. Not only is it surrounded by oceans, but it gets a fair amount of rain. Therefore, the slang word, “it’ll pass” refers to the short rain showers experienced across the state.
Example: “Don’t worry; it’ll pass, then we can go to the park.”
Jit is a popular term that Floridians use to imply someone younger than them. Usually, it’s used for kids.
Example: “The jit has a lot of gall to hit on my sister.”
The term “Love Bugs” refers to March flies that are commonly found in Florida. Because of their unique mating habits, these flies are warmly referred to as “love bugs.” Although they aren’t harmful, they can be annoying when they infest your home.
Example: “These love bugs are everywhere.”
No See Ums
Although Florida doesn’t have a lot of mosquitoes, it has something a bit worse, no see ums. The term “no see ums” refers to small blood-sucking flies that irritate Florida’s population.
Example: “I’m trying to get rid of those no see ums.”
Mostly used in Southern Florida, oye is a simple way of saying “hey” or “hello” to someone. Like many other Southern Florida slang words, this term has roots in Cuban.
Example: “Oye, how you doing?”
“Pub sub” is a slang word to refer to subs from a Publix grocery store. These are hot sellers that anyone can easily pick up and eat.
Example: “I didn’t have time, so I grabbed a Pub sub.”
Florida is a coastal state. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that older people travel from their winter homes around Thanksgiving to bask in the Florida sun until about April. The people who travel in winter are commonly referred to as snowbirds.
Example: “That entire trailer park is full of snowbirds.”
When you hear the phrase “The Florijority,” think elections. This phrase shows how Florida normally has pull during presidential election time.
Example: “That election might have gone the other way if it weren’t for The Florijority.”
Commonly used in South Florida, the term “vibin” means just chill. Think of it as the perfect way to spend your day out in the Florida sun.
Example: “We are just vibin today.”
Parked in Goofy
Just a tip, never want to be “parked in Goofy.” This term refers to when you park in the farthest lot from the farthest lot. “Parked in Goofy” comes from Walt Disney World in Florida and the Goofy parking lot is the farthest lot from the center.
Example: “I’m never going to be late again. I’m so tired of being parked in Goofy.”
You will understand the meaning of “wicked up” better if you’ve ever had too much to drink to a point where you can’t stand on your feet properly. Basically, this term means that you drank so much that you weren’t able to talk or walk straight.
Example: “Man, you were wicked up last night. I had to basically carry you to the house.”