Alright recent arrivals, I know what you’re thinking. Who the hell is this Dale guy and why is everyone in Miami obsessed with him?

Firstly, it’s pronounced DAH-leh. The word is a conjugation of the Spanish “dar,” which means “to give.” In its most literal interpretation, “dale” simply commands one person to give something to another. But Miamians took this broad definition and ran gleefully roughshod over el idioma de Cervantes.

In essence, as used within the Magic City, “dale” can and does mean absolutely everything other than “no.” Let’s dive into a few of those definitions.

“Dale” as Affirmation

“Yo bro, we getting rowdy this weekend?” texts one Miami bro to another.

“Dale bro, you know it. My stepdad is taking his boat to Nixon Beach and we’re inviting a whole bunch of boat girls, bro!!!!” responds the second.

“Dale, broder!” replies the first. “I can’t wait for an intellectually stimulating conversation about Fourth Wave Feminism that’ll mostly involve me listening in respectful silence because I’m self-aware of my own patriarchal shortcomings, brodeeeeeeer!!!”

“Dale, for sure, bro,” answers the second. “It’ll be an excellent opportunity to examine our preconceived notions of masculinity! Don’t forget the White Claw!”

“Dale don-Laura-Bates-dale!” concludes the first.

In this instance, “dale” was applied by two uncharacteristically evolved Miami party bros to broadly communicate agreement. It could’ve easily been replaced by the English words “yes,” “alright,” and “you got it.”

“Dale” as Exclamation

But “dale” has many uses beyond acknowledging consent. It’s also utilized to communicate excitement, delight, and enthusiasm, as illustrated when City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez captured a leprechaun.

“Dale!” cried Mayor Suarez, gasping for breath and sweating profusely as he held the struggling sprite under his bulk. “I finally caught you, you Irish bastard! You owe me a wish and all your gold.”

“That’s not really how it works,” responded the ancient Gaelic sprite as he stood up from underneath the mayor and dusted himself off. “All I can offer you is what you truly deserve…”

“I want to be President and super freaking rich, bro!” interrupted the mayor.

“Ah, no soul alive can manifest your first request,” replied the leprechaun. “But I can offer you 20 million Miami Coin.”

“Dale!” exclaimed the Suarez without understanding the inherently speculative nature of cryptocurrency. “I’ll take them!”

“Dale” as Obfuscation

Remember, dear miamenses, “dale” can mean literally (and I use the literal definition of “literally”) anything other than “no.” It therefore serves as a perfect crutch for when you reeeeeally don’t want to commit to something but can’t muster the moral fortitude to simply turn down a request, as exemplified by this conversation between two acquaintances:

Friend 1: “Hey, can you help me move out of my apartment this weekend?”

Friend 2: “Dale.”

Friend 1: “Great! At what time can you show up?”

Friend 2: “Dale.”

Friend 1: “Ha ha, no, when can you actually come?”

Friend 2: “Dale.”

Friend 1: “You’re not really answering the question…”

Friend 2: “Dale.”

Friend 1: “You’re not coming, are you?”

Friend 2: “Dale.”

In Conclusión

Along with “bro,” “coño,” “sak pase,” and “me cago en la requeteputa quien te parió,” “dale” remains one of Miami’s most ubiquitous and iconic phrases. Often misunderstood by outsiders, it forms a key rhetorical flying buttress holding up the Magic City’s linguistic cathedral—a hodgepodge of wholly unlike cultural elements that somehow still forms a beautiful, coherent edifice. Outsiders may only give it a skeptical glance, unsure of its structural integrity, but we Miamians enthusiastically worship at the altar of our heterogeneous lexicon, often by ritualistically repeating “dale” to any and all liturgical prompts from the pulpit.

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Andrew OtazoAndrew Otazo

'Miami Creation Myth' author Andrew Otazo has advised officials on Cuba policy, worked for the Mexican president, fired a tank, and ran with 30lbs of trash.

Check out the first free chapter of Andrew’s upcoming book here.


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