If you’re a native of the Sunshine State, or even a recent transplant, you’ve definitely heard these words and phrases
This phrase refers to the on-again, off-again rain showers experienced throughout the day. Floridians are always talking about the possibility of rain when making day plans, but any doubts are usually squashed with “It’ll pass.” Rain comes in short intervals in Florida; it can be pouring in your backyard while your front yard is sunny and clear, so don’t cancel any plans due to a dark cloud in the distance.
“Where are my Uggs?”
Ralf Geithe/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
When the weather drops into the 60s the Ugg boots and coats come out. Really, though. You’ll see people in their warmest attire, and even some that are clearly confused, sporting a North Face jacket with shorts and Uggs. Get it together, Florida!
“I’m literally sick of this humidity” is just one example of how “literally” is used in literally every possible way. The old “like” is out and has been replaced with the new and improved “literally.” Please control your instinctual desire to respond with an eye roll.
When you hear Floridians talk about the “west coast,” chances are they’re not talking about California; they really mean the Florida Gulf Coast. This is commonly understood among Florida natives but can easily be misconstrued by visitors.
“Yeah, no” and “No, yeah”
This one is a bad habit Floridians can’t seem to shake, but knowing the difference between the two is a major key to understanding Florida’s language. It’s pretty simple, “yeah, no” means no and “no, yeah” means yes. So basically just ignore whatever people respond with first and listen for their second word choice.
Additional tip: Briefing yourself on DJ Khaled’s lingo will help you to understand the SoFla locals, too.
This is not in reference to the bird. The word “bobo” is used in Florida to describe something that’s either below average or basic, such as an off-brand item. For instance, “this food is bobo.”
“Is that a roach or a palmetto?”
There is no denying that palmetto bugs are worse than most cockroaches, and they’re also incredibly common in Florida. Palmetto bugs are part of the cockroach family, but not only are they the largest of the species, but they can fly! Roaches are gross enough, but giving them wings? That’s just evil.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/The Daily Meal
Oh, Burdines. How you are missed. Burdines was a popular Florida department store for many years. With more than 50 stores throughout the state, it was deemed “The Florida Store.” In the mid-2000s Burdines was bought by Macy’s and was sadly lost forever.
“UF is the Ivy League of the South”
ID 76208519 © Wellesenterprises | Dreamstime.com
State school rivalries between Florida State University and University of Florida are cutthroat in Florida, and always will be. However, Florida prides itself in claiming that the University of Florida is “the Ivy League of the South.” You’ll likely hear a snarky response from FSU students when they hear that.
Publix is Florida’s Holy Grail chain of grocery stores, and it is notoriously known for its chicken tender subs. “Pub-subs,” as Floridians call them, are made to order at the Publix deli and no road trip is complete until everyone has picked up their pub-subs.
“I’ve never parallel parked”
You’re more likely to hear this one if a Floridian is traveling to a northern state where parallel parking is common. Knowing how to parallel park isn’t required as part of Florida’s driver’s license test. Almost every location has either a driveway, a parking lot, or a garage, so parallel parking is never an issue. If, by chance, you’re in South Beach where there might be some street parking for beach-goers, try to use valet; otherwise, you’ll likely end up with some dings and scratches on your car from locals who think they’ll test their skills.
“Is it snowing?”
This is another phrase that will only be heard by the Floridians visiting states north of Florida. Snow is an anomaly that many Floridians have never seen — and only people living in the Panhandle have witnessed the occasional flurries over the years. Locals still talk about that one time, almost 30 years ago, when it snowed in Central Florida. It’s a big deal.