15 words and phrases every Miamian must know

How to use the word ‘dale’ as illustrated with a Cuban party platter

"Dale" is a word with many uses. Watch this video explaining several ways to use the word "dale" as illustrated with a Cuban party platter.
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"Dale" is a word with many uses. Watch this video explaining several ways to use the word "dale" as illustrated with a Cuban party platter.

Whether you’re new to the 305 or you’ve lived here your entire life, there is very specific terminology that you need to know to navigate daily life in Miami.

Did someone just call you a “papi chulo” and you have no idea how to respond? Are you often left wondering who this “Dale” guy is that everyone keeps talking about?

We’re here to help with a handy dandy list of words and phrases that every true Miamian must know:

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1. chon·ga [chohn-ga]


Miami’s most infamous female. Traits include dark lip liner, gelled hair, large hoop earrings with her name written inside, a tight crop top and coochie cutters. Usually found in her native habitat of Hialeah, although she does venture out from time to time.

“Calle Ocho was filled with chongas this year.”

2. có·ge·lo con take it easy [coh-heh-low kohn teyk it ee-zee]


Literal Translation: Take it with take it easy.

Relax. Usually said to someone that is freaking the eff out for no reason.

“If this idiota tries to take that parking space, I am going to hit her car with a bat.”

“Cógelo con take it easy.”

3. da·le [dah-leh]

adverb, interjection

Let’s go; okay; do it. This term can be dropped in absolutely any situation. Whether you’re saying goodbye to your crew, expressing approval or even congratulating a buddy, channel your inner Pitbull and just say dale.

1. Hey, I’m going to CrossFit with Dan. Wanna come?


2. I finally hooked up with Lindsay last night.


3. It was nice meeting you. Let’s do this again sometime.


4. I gotta take a piss.


4. de ma·dre [deh mah-dreh]


Literal Translation: of mother

1. That sucks. This is said in sympathy of someone’s unfortunate lot in life.

“I accidentally liked Jessica’s picture while I was Instagram stalking her.

“Oof, de madre.”

2. Being ridiculous; obnoxious; the bane of someone’s existence.

“Tony was being de madre yesterday with Game of Thrones spoilers.”

5. ea·ting s**t [ee-ting s**t]

phrase, verb

Messing around. Originating from the Cuban phrase “comiendo mierda,” it’s used to describe someone’s tomfoolery.

Why is Becky taking so long to get ready?

Because she’s eating s**t taking selfies.

6. es·tá en·te·ra [eh-stah en-teh-rah]

phrase, adjective

Literal Translation: she’s whole

A term used to describe a woman that’s the complete package. Great physique and bangin’ personality to boot.

I’d definitely get with that Miami Dolphins cheerleader. Está entera.

7. I’m sor·ry con ex·cuse me [ahym sor-ee kohn ik-skyooz mee]


Literal Translation: I’m sorry with excuse me

An exaggerated way to say “excuse me.” Usually said by someone that is about to shut you down and put you in your place with the quickness.

“Susie says she saw your man last night at LIV.

“I’m sorry con excuse me, but he was with me all night!”

8. li·ter·al·ly [lit-er-uh-lee]


A Miami girl’s favorite way to express herself. There is, however, absolutely nothing literal in what she’s saying.

“When I saw Beyoncé in concert last year, I literally died. LITERALLY.”

9. pa·chan·ga [pah-chan-gah]


A celebration. Usually of the rowdy variety. Chances are high for epic dance-offs, multiple blackouts and bad decisions.

“When the Heat won the championship in ‘13, La Carreta on Bird Road and 87th turned into a huge pachanga.”

10. pa·pi chu·lo [pah-pee choo-low]


Literal Translation: pimp daddy

This term has evolved from referring to a Hispanic “bro” who likes to think he’s a ladies man to a guy that’s so painfully good looking he actually is.

“Ryan Gosling is such a papi chulo in ‘The Notebook’.”

11. pa·ta su·cia [pah-tah sū-see-ya]


Literal Translation: dirty foot

A girl that has taken her shoes off at the club after one too many vodka sodas and multiple hours of bumpin’ and grindin’. She can no longer walk in her 6-inch heels and going barefoot is her only viable option.

“Damn, I can’t believe Vanessa just went pata sucia at Purdy.”

12. pe·ro, like… I can’t [peh-roh lahyk ahy kant]


Literal Translation: but, like… I can’t

Usually said by a girl that just cannot deal with the situation at hand. Phrased as “pero, like… no puedo” if she’s going full Cuban.

“Can you believe Jim got back together with Kate after she cheated on him with his brother?

“Pero, like… I can’t.”

13. po·bre·ci·to [poh-breh-see-toh]


Literal Translation: poor man

1. Poor thing; a dude that can’t catch a break.

“My car got left on blocks last week.

“Oh no, pobrecito!”

2. Sarcastic response to a guy you just can’t feel bad for.

“Can you believe they stole the rims from my brand new Benz?

“Ay, pobrecito”.

14. tre·men·do/a [treh-men-doh / tre-men-dah]


Literal Translation: tremendous

1. Ultimate; tremendous; huge. Often used in front of any word or phrase to highlight its intensity. (i.e. tremenda pachanga, tremenda pata sucia, tremendo arroz con mango, etc.)


2. A girl or guy that is engaging in scandalous behavior.

“Did you see the chick that took her shirt off at the Diplo concert? She’s tremenda.”

15. u·na cual·quie·ra [oo-nah coo-al-kye-rah]


Literal Translation: anyone

Just some girl; no one important.

1. Yo, who’s that girl you were macking it to at The Bar?

Who? Her? No one, just una cualquiera.

2. I can’t believe he didn’t call me. I’m not una cualquiera!

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