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How to Tell You're from Miami

By Alyssa Diaz

Photo Credit to The New York Times

You're so Miami is a term you hear all around our city. Are you guilty of any of the following: Going outside with a hoodie and sweats when it's 90 degrees? Drinking coffee at 4 p.m.? Going to Publix in your swimsuit? Getting stuck in that 5 p.m. daily traffic jam on the Turnpike? Then, you, my friend, are also so Miami. You would know what makes Miami distinctive if you have grown up here or have lived here for a long time.


Miami is known for its beautiful beaches, art deco architecture, never-ending nightlife, and amazing, all-year round sunny weather. The people, though, are what truly define the 305. Yes, there are many different nationalities and backgrounds here, yet some may argue that being a "Miamian" has its own culture. However, you can really ask yourself: How Miami are you?


The Way We Speak


The English used in Miami has a local accent and leans more toward Spanglish slang. The Miami language's pronunciation and vocabulary are significantly influenced by Spanish. It's fascinating how even if a person doesn't speak a word of Spanish, they yet take on the accent of Miami if they were raised here.

Photo Credit to Bloomberg.com

If it’s not the accent, then it’s iconic Cuban phrases like, “Que bola, papo,” or “Ya tu sabes.” You may even be one of those teenage girls who say, “pero like bro” or use “literally” in every sentence to emphasize literally everything.


Additionally, saying "yeah no yeah" implies "yes," whereas saying "no yeah no" signifies "no." Just ignore the initial two parts in the sentence and pick the last one as the response, then you'll be good.


Other common expressions include "let's do a getty," which refers to a gathering of friends, and "give me your addy," meaning send your address. If you haven't already realized it, Miami slang is around you more than you think and you might even catch yourself saying these phrases, too!


The Way We Act

Photo Credit to iStock

In other cities, residents may greet each other by shaking hands. In Miami, however, it's cheek kisses and hugging. Folks will come in with a cheek kiss whether it’s a family member, friend of a friend or, sometimes, even a stranger. It's the customary greeting. Therefore, failing to use it can come across as odd or unfriendly. We also enjoy throwing parties. It doesn't matter the time or the situation - even if a hurricane is on its way or you must work the following day.


We also hardly regard the start time on the invitation. If you say the party starts at 5 p.m., we are showing up at 8 p.m.


You must attend a house party that someone's tia is hosting. During these parties or other gatherings, Miamians love to brag about themselves - talking about how many times they go to Planet Fitness a week or how that Tinder date went last night or how they got that promotion they’ve been wanting for two years. They’ll show off their new all-white Tesla on Instagram or invite you to come over to their new two-story house in Coral Gables. It’s easier just to shake your head and go along with their bravado.


You may also come across a guy blasting his music so loud through his truck with a flag on the back, repping his country of origin, thinking he owns the whole street - don’t get me started on Miami drivers.


The Way We Dress

Photo Credit to Envato Elements

Miami's fashion is vibrant and casual, and it is strongly inspired by the heat, music videos or Latin culture.


We wear comfortable clothing most of the time. We practically all spend our days in swimwear because we live in an endless summer. Although we should dress properly at fancy restaurants, we can generally get away with crop tops, flip-flops, and jean shorts.


It’s not uncommon to see girls wearing heels and a mini dress in clubs to get a guy’s number one day and then ghost them while wearing their SHEIN biker shorts, oversized shirt, and white Vans the next day. Also, we always carry a hoodie and umbrella in the car, as it can rain at any moment.


Walking through public places, you may encounter your typical dad with a Dolphins or Heat jersey, khaki shorts, sunglasses, and socks with slides. Or you may pass by a girl wearing a super slim dress to show off her Brazilian butt-lift she got three months ago, giving her Gucci purse that new bounce. There are also the guys who bought that new Rolex or Jordans they’ve been dying to show off.


We all have seen that 25-year-old woman who wears gym clothes to her local Starbucks just to make people think she’s active when she’s only had an iced vanilla cafe latte that morning.


Then, there’s that Hispanic mom you see at Walmart with leopard print leggings, chancletas, and hair snatched up in a big claw clip.


Either way, the way we dress speaks for ourselves like name brands. It’s the way people perceive us, and you the tourists still love us even though we are a bit self-centered.

Left: Sara Kurz (Sophmore in Graphic Design) Middle: Jayden Bryan (Junior in Theatre & Business Management) Right: Luna Borges (Freshman in Computer Science). Photo credit to Jimmy Muniz Jr.