Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Lingua Franca of Miami-Dade

Years ago, when Macon and Walter were younger teenagers, they rode around Miami Springs on their bikes and made a movie for the use of the Pulpit Search Committee of our church in its recruiting of a new minister.  They narrated it.

When the new minister arrived, we went to a social event that welcomed him and his wife.  At some point we told his wife that our sons had made that video.  His wife said that people back in Iowa, where they came from, were fascinated by their "accent" and wondered where they had lived before the United States.

Anyway, the way we speak Miami-Dade lingua franca is useful.  We can use the same word for several things.  For example, this afternoon Carol is in the kitchen chopping the vegetables that she purchased at Whole Foods and Publix where she went chopping yesterday.

When we need something to put on our feet, we choose what we want at the store that sells choose, whether at the shopping center or, more frequently, the internet.

There is a lawyer of Haitian descent who practices in our building with a Jewish lawyer.  They are great friends of the lawyers in our firm.  The Haitian-descent lawyer's name is Gerald, written out.  Spoken by the two of them, its "Jaw."  Jaw is much bigger than I am, although a lot nicer than I am.  I would, therefore, never hit Jaw in the jaw.   You wouldn't either.

We are not talking Spanglish here.  We are talking Miami-Dade.

UPDATE:  I  had to splane this to Carol.  She couldn't see how Gerald equals Jaw.  "I said 'Jaw,' Carol."  I guess it sounds like "Gee-Aw" to her, but it sounds like Jaw to me.  Do you get it now, Carol?  'Gee-aw" equals Gerald with a Haitian assent.  (Yes, you get it now, right? Accent is pronounced assent.)  At least that's what his partner David calls him.  David doesn't mean to call him that bone with teeth in it.  But it sounds like that to me.  I'm sorry, Carol, but Gerald's my friend and his name is Jaw and he answers to that.


Rick Tuttle said...

Here is your Miami word for the day: chicken wing.
Usage: Mi abuela likes to play la loteria y dice que one day maybe chicken wing.

Paul Stokes said...

That's a good one, Rick. Here's another one: Years ago, I was in Burdine's (before Macy's), looking for baskets for a gift of fruit. I couldn't find one there, but a saleslady said to go to the Omni and look for the "Giuspinni." I went, looked all over, and could not find such a store, which I took to be an Italian boutique. Then, toward one end of the mall, in front of a large store, was a huge display of baskets. I looked up. It was J.C. Penney, of course.

Paul Stokes said...

And then there's basie-ball.